Labor unions and progressives Wednesday will hit the airwaves in Nevada, Montana and Massachusetts in the hopes of pushing Republican Senate candidates to oppose any super committee deal that includes cuts to Medicare or Medicaid.
Republicans and Democrats on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction have been struggling to come up with a way to reform entitlement programs as part of a broader deal on reducing the deficit.
Although those talks have ground to a crawl just a week before a self-imposed deadline, labor and progressive activists are taking no chances.
The 30-second ads, paid for by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Americans United for Change; and the Service Employees International Union, will air in Reno, Nev.; Missoula and Billings, Mont.; and Boston. They specifically target Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
The relatively simple ads feature the word Medicare on a white background that slowly disappears as the ad progresses.
In a voice-over, an elderly woman says: “If you vote to cut Medicare ... I will remember it every time I visit my doctor. I’ll remember you cut Medicare and Medicaid every time I fill a prescription. I’ll remember you cut Medicare if I fall down or get hurt.
“I’ll remember you chose protecting millionaires over protecting my health. My friends will remember it too — all of them,” the woman adds before asking viewers to call the lawmakers.
“Any super committee recommendations that cut Medicare or Medicaid and hurt beneficiaries or providers would be irresponsible and reckless,” SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement. “Super committee members should fully understand that the decisions they make will have significant ramifications for years to come on seniors, low-income families, the unemployed and working families.”
“No matter how they frame the cuts, Republicans need to realize that slashing Medicare and Medicaid will do nothing to create jobs. And you better believe residents in their home state will remember those cuts,” AUC acting Executive Director Tom McMahon said.
“It’s time for the GOP to remember their constituents and not just those that line their campaign coffers,” he added.