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Mediscare messages target seniors -- in races from president to legislature

Gwen_inexcu_frontThe attack ads arrive in the mailboxes of Florida voters and pierce the television airwaves with the rapidity of tracer bullets.

“Medicare Advantage could vanish,’’ reads a flyer from the conservative group, Americans for Tax Reform. “Barack Obama raided $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare,’’ reads another.

“Seniors could pay $6,000 more a year,’’ warns an ad supporting Obama. Republicans Mitt Romney and Connie Mack want to “end Medicare as we know it,” warns Democrat Bill Nelson. Mack claims Nelson wants to “rob Medicare to pay for the president’s healthcare plan.”

Politicos have a shorthand for the chatter: Mediscare.

The dueling messages are designed to stoke financial fears in the swing state with one of the biggest senior populations in the country. And even campaigns for the state House and Senate, which do not have any control over Medicare, are being hit with the attacks. (See the attached mailer sent out by the political consultant to Republican Senate Candidate John Couriel against Democrat Gwen Margolis.)

Separating fact from fiction is easy — if you realize that every claim is out of context, partially true, and just as partially false. But beneath the claims are some truths. Consider: keep reading