- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2014

Sen. Mark Pryor has released another campaign ad that goes to bat for Obamacare without mentioning it by name.

Last time, he touted the part of Affordable Care Act that lets people with pre-existing conditions access coverage. This time, he takes on Republican claims that Democrats slashed Medicare by $700 billion to pay for President Obama’s overhaul.

“My opponent knows I did not cut Medicare benefits,” Mr. Pryor says in the 30-second spot. “I cut waste and protected benefits.”

The government health program for seniors looms large in the mid-term campaign. It’s a popular program, and seniors tend to vote.

Mr. Pryor, who is trying to stave off a challenge from Republican congressman Tom Cotton, says insurance companies were charging $115 for every $100 of services, “ripping off taxpayers.”

While many incumbent Democrats are under attack over Obamacare, which polls negatively, Mr. Pryor is one of the few who have pushed back by treading anywhere close to the law.

Republicans say Democrats who crafted Obamacare cut Medicare by $700 billion, while Democrats counter they reined in payments to Medicare Advantage plans — an insurer-run option for seniors — to keep the program consistent and solvent.

The Medicare Advantage cuts have been a big part of the GOP’s push over the last year to retake the Senate. They argue the cuts will trickle down to seniors in the form of higher premiums and reduced services.

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