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Despite videos, Rand Paul says he doesn’t support higher Medicare deductibles

Democrat Jack Conway, left, and Republican Rand Paul are running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

Democrat Jack Conway, left, and Republican Rand Paul are running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

MORE: Bill Clinton scheduled to campaign for Jack Conway on Monday

MORE: National GOP ad accuses Conway of waffling on Bush tax cuts

By Jack Brammer – jbrammer@herald-leader.com

LOUISVILLE — Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul claims in a new TV ad that he does not support higher deductibles for Medicare and that his Democratic rival, Jack Conway, is “deliberately distorting” his views on the issue.

But Conway has released a video that shows Paul repeatedly suggesting that there should be a $2,000 deductible for Medicare patients.

“A $2,000 Medicare deductible would solve a huge amount of problems,” Paul says at one point during a September 2009 town hall meeting on health care. “The hard part is how do you present this on national TV? What’s going to happen to me in a statewide race if I tell people I think the Medicare deductible is going to be higher? Am I going to be hooted out of the room?

“I’m willing to take a risk because I think it’s the right thing to do” because the other option is a publicly-funded health care system like Canada’s, he said.

The controversial Medicare issue is highlighting this week’s war of campaign TV ads between Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon making his first bid for public office, and Conway, Kentucky’s attorney general.

In an ad released Tuesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pounced on Paul’s comments about a $2,000 deductible for Medicare, the federal health care program primarily for people 65 and over.

The ad attempts to paint Paul as someone who is out of touch with Kentucky’s seniors, noting that voters could use $2,000 to attend a pro football game in Paul’s hometown of Pittsburgh, to go to a fund-raiser in Texas where Paul grew up or to take a limousine ride to Webster Hall in New York City where Paul launched his Senate campaign.

“Rand Paul may get around, but he doesn’t get Kentucky,” says a narrator in the ad.

Conway hammered Paul on the Medicare issue during a discussion with about 10 retirees Tuesday at the Twig and Leaf restaurant on Louisville’s Bardstown Road.

He reminded them that the deductible for Medicare Part B, which pays for visits to the doctor, is $155. The deductible for Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital stays, is about $1,100. For Medicare Part D, which covers prescriptions, it is $310.

“I don’t know what planet Rand Paul lives on, but he clearly doesn’t understand the needs of Kentucky seniors,” Conway said.

Meanwhile, Paul’s new ad declares that “Rand Paul doesn’t support higher medicare deductibles for seniors” and accuses Conway of distorting Paul’s views “to hide his support for Obamacare which cuts Medicare by $500 billion.”

Paul was referring to the health care legislation backed by President Obama and passed this year by Congress.

The law does restrain the growth of future Medicare spending, mostly payments to hospitals and other providers, but it doesn’t cut any benefits in the traditional Medicare program. It will likely cause private insurers to reduce benefits in Medicare Advantage plans, known as Part C, which combines Part A and Part B and often provides additional benefits.

The Paul campaign also released an ad Tuesday in which an Obama impersonator applauds Conway’s support for the president, who is not popular in polls of Kentucky voters.

Conway questioned why Paul had to use an impersonator in his ad.

He later said it was fair to say he is “more a Clinton Democrat than an Obama Democrat” and that he had asked the former president to campaign for him but did not know if Clinton can work a visit to Kentucky into his schedule before the Nov. 2 general election.

Two special interest groups outside of Kentucky also started airing new ads against Conway on Tuesday.

Crossroads GPS, which is associated with former President George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove and has run previous ads critical of Conway, claims in a new ad that utility rates have gone up $175 million in Kentucky during Conway’s term as attorney general and that he has received $263,500 in stock dividends from a utility over the last two years.

As attorney general, Conway must advocate on behalf of residential ratepayers when utility companies seek a rate increase from the state Public Service Commission. He said his office has helped save ratepayers more than $100 million as attorney general.

Conway said the ad is “coming in from out-of-state interests to try to convince Kentuckians that I’m something that I’m not.”

In August, Conway revealed on a mandatory financial disclosure form that he has earned $263,500 in stock distribution payments from Kinder Morgan Energy, a Texas-based pipeline company that transports natural gas and petroleum products. However, Kinder Morgan Energy has not been involved in any utility rate increase requests consider by Conway’s office.

A group called The First Amendment Alliance is running an ad in Kentucky that claims Conway has failed to vigorously fight illegal drugs in the state. It says Conway was tardy in creating a drug task force and that methamphetamine labs have increased in the state in recent years.

Louisville’s Fox41 pulled the ad late Tuesday. Station officials were not immediately available for comment, but Conway’s campaign released a letter from its lawyer that said the ad cites sources that did not back its claims.

Conway said he kept a campaign pledge to quickly appoint a task force of prosecutors and law enforcement officers to tackle the state’s drug abuse problems, but said it took time for him to publicize the group because his office was involved in a 1.5-year drug investigation with the FBI.

He also said his office’s investigators do not have the resources to obtain the hazardous material training needed to conduct meth busts. That job is left to the Kentucky State Police and other agencies, he said.

He did say his office is doing a better job at finding meth labs, “and that’s why their number is going up.”

Rand Paul’s Medicare ad:

Jack Conway Web ad about Rand Paul and Medicare:

Democratic Senatorial Campaign ad about Medicare:

Rand Paul’s Obama ad:

First Amendment Alliance ad:

Crossroads GPS ad:

Filed Under: ElectionsJack ConwayRand PaulUS Senate Race

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Comments

  1. Bill C says:

    Wait so Conway can make the CRAZY claim Paul wants to legalize theft and burglary yet his ads aren’t pulled but someone refers to the Conway’s public record and their ads are pulled?

    That’s just nuts. The liberal media are overplaying their hand in silencing political speech.

  2. Bill Adkins says:

    Rand Paul,YOU LIE!!!!

  3. gary says:

    Candidates like conway are lying to the people to get their vote

  4. gary s says:

    Coway is lying big time

  5. genericballot says:

    mostly true…. umm, I mean false. i think

  6. pattyamos says:

    billadkins is an angry man

  7. gary s says:

    I HEAR EVERYONE SAYING WE NEED HONESTY IN GOVERMENT ,THAT STARTS HERE. LOOK AT THE LYE . the real question is do you want politic’s as usual, believe it or not ,what the tea party stands for,HONESTY,VALUE BASED,TERM LIMITS,doesn’t matter what party .we want both party’s to live up to commitments not run lying ads about each other. Check out each canidate not his party line,most voters are really stupid enough to depend on ads.what a shame!

  8. Jackie says:

    Rand is a doctor who would like more money so it makes since he wants to increase Medicare, only a fool would want it lowered. Rand made less then 100,000 dollars as a doctor before he realized he could be a Senator and make more. Conway is a lawyer looking at the interest of the people as he doesn’t understand. Voters know the elected State Attorney General doesn’t know as much as a local doctor or do they? Conway knows about the needs of the State of Kentucky and if the people don’t want that they will vote Rand Paul. Rand is doing a balancing act with the Tea Party position vs the Republican position. Rand is a supporter of the fake Pledge for America aka Contract with America. The video is from Rand but some people just go blindly.

  9. Davecat84 says:

    Medicare is broke. Obamacare cuts $500 Billion from Medicare over next 10 years. Now we are arguing “gotcha” journalism?

  10. John Perkins says:

    It’s a shame that so many people don’t care about public policy until a political campaign, when it can be discussed like a football game.

  11. Bill Adkins says:

    Rand Paul wants you to believe it’s your ears lying, not him. Anyone that gullible must be a Tealiban member.

  12. Harold says:

    Another Rand Paul flip flop. This guy is a joke. He stands for nothing.

  13. JKR says:

    Paul says he doesn’t support higher deductibles for SENIORS, and he supports NO changes for those currently getting benefits or near retirement. FOr those who are younger, deductibles will likely be part of what would be looked at regardless of who Kentucky sends to DC, because there is a bipartisan committee coming up with recommendations on how to fix social security and medicare. For Conway, who in 2002 said re: social security that ‘everything is on the table’ to pretend those issues will evaporate if Kentucky were to send Conway, is dishonest.

  14. Anonymous says:

    When Cloward and Piven succeed, all the checks stop coming.

  15. bill adkins says:

    I’m sorry I flew off the handle. I’m having a difficult pregnancy, and it’s really making me moody.

  16. Tired of it says:

    I’m for Jack Conway because he will help Obama finish the job he started. And the sooner it’s done, the better. Then we can all move to Costa Rica.

  17. Paul A. says:

    America is going down in flames and dipsticks here are arguing about fire truck colors.

  18. steph says:

    had that been a democrat saying they would be for a 2,000.00 deductible you blind sheep would be screaming. I don’t hear any outrage from these same idiots when the republicans controlled EVERYTHING from 2000 to 2006 and they were running the deficit up. Between 2000-2006 is when the medicare plan was put into place. I actually heard someone griping about not being able to negotiate lower drug prices under the current plan. Thank mitch and jim for that. there is also significant memory loss after the democarats took control: GEORGE BUSH WAS PRESIDENT AND HE HAD VETO POWER SO NO DEMOCRATIC POLICIES WERE PUT IN PLACE BECASUE THEY DID NOT HAVE ENOUGHT TO OVERTURN A VETO (THAT TAKES AT LEAST 66 VOTES FOR THE IDIOTS). For all of those followers this applies to you: Light travels faster that sound, this is why some people appear to be bright until they speak..

  19. steph says:

    I know my post didn’t make sense. But I had fun doin’ it.

  20. steph says:

    well i see there may be another “steph”. My post did make sense and i had fun doing it. i bet your real name is rand and you are ashamed to tell people

  21. pattyamos says:

    Steph – if you didn’t hear conservatives complaining during the Bush years, you weren’t listening. Either that, or that fact that there was so much noise coming from all the media outlets it drowned out our small group.

    Bush and the elephants did a LOT of democrat-type damage. They spent like crazy and increased govt size (in addition to DHS, which might be fogiven since we have real terrorist trying to kill us). They did not have the guts to address the fannie and freddie debacle (search for teh c-span video of congressional hearing where bawny fwank, maxine “F-U” waters and and others were disparaging the regulators.) Blam bush – fine. I’ll join you. but we can’t talk down the bush years and then double down on it like olama is doing.

  22. Eric says:

    “Wait so Conway can make the CRAZY claim Paul wants to legalize theft and burglary yet his ads aren’t pulled but someone refers to the Conway’s public record and their ads are pulled?”

    Yeah, this junk is unbelievable. Even PolitiFact called Conway a big liar for that ad:

    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/27/jack-conway/jack-conway-campaign-ad-accuses-rand-paul-being-so/

    And this is another in the long stream of nonsense from this paper. God, every other day it’s a negative headline about Rand Paul. The attempt at taking him down and protecting Conway at every turn is why I believe Conway is losing. I think the people don’t trust the press and also see the hated press absolutely cheerleading for Conway.

  23. MMC-NEWS says:

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  24. Moderate Republican says:

    This is a moderate Republican that cannot vote for anybody that aligns themselves with the wingnut Sarah Palin, and I am speaking about Rand Paul.

  25. Charles H. says:

    Moderate Republicans are not welcome and do not have a place in the Republican Party anymore. We are happy to have differing viewpoints in the Democratic Party. Join us! Vote Conway!

  26. John says:

    Who do we have to thank for all of these political adds from outside of Kentucky. Mitch McConnel who subverts “the right of free speech” to mean we have no right to limit other countries, terrorists, or even worse Carl Rowe from interferring with our state elections. I say tax all political adds at 50% and balance the state budget.

  27. Jackie says:

    Smart move by Rand Paul. Last year he was for it now for a vote he’s against it. Once in office he will make sure the 2000 dollars gets his yes Vote. Rand is learning just say what ever people want to hear for the vote, then get in office and forget about it until the next election. Rand came how speaking from his heart and what he truly believes until he learned people don’t believe what he does. Now many will do what ever he said and then blame Obama.

  28. GermantownDem says:

    Come on Little Jackie, bring in Barry O’Bama to campaign fer ya!

  29. GermantownDem says:

    Yee-haw! And green beer for everybody!
    (Oops…well, it looks green when it hits the floor.)

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    If this doesn’t prove Rand Paul is wrong for KY nothing does. Can you imagine letting giant coal companies police themselves on these matters? We would all be dying at an early age from cancer and other numerous diseases. These people are just like the republican party, they care nothing about who they hurt as long as they get theirs.

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  35. I say tax all political adds at 50% and balance the state budget.

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