Rep. Herrera Beutler Caught Lying, Backtracks on Ads
Backtracking Jaime Herrera Buetler caught red-handed by the media, lying about her opponent’s positions
VANCOUVER, WA—Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler was caught red-handed by the media for running false attack ads on her opponent Carolyn Long, and now she’s backtracking. This is the second time she has been caught lying in her ads.
Herrera Beutler’s previous ads lied about Long’s health care positions. Long has supported fixing the Affordable Care Act and a public option since launching her campaign in November of 2017.
“Jaime Herrera Beutler wasn’t expecting to be held accountable,” said Abby Olmstead, Long’s campaign manager. “She can’t stand on her record, so what does she do? Lie. It’s why people hate politicians. And now that she has been called out for it, she’s flip-flopping.”
Now that multiple news outlets have caught her lying, Rep. Herrera Beutler flip-flops:
The Truth: Carolyn Long supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act and creating a public option.
Jaime’s Lie: Carolyn Long supports a Medicare for All Plan.
In a new ad, Herrera Beutler states Long supports a “public option plan…” What happened? In interviews, and even during the debate, Herrera Beutler doubled down on her lie about Long stating Long supports Medicare for All. Her new ad also continues to falsely claim Long’s public option plan will close rural hospitals.
The Truth: Repealing the Affordable Care Act will hurt rural hospitals as Medicaid expansion currently helps keep the doors open.
Jaime’s Lie: Carolyn Long’s health care plan will close rural hospitals.
According to The Seattle Stranger, Herrera Beutler has been running false attack ads that cite a big pharma and health insurance industry-backed study that wrongly claims Carolyn Long would work to close rural hospitals.
Rich Smith • October 19, 2020
In her latest attack ad, Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler claims her Democratic challenger, Carolyn Long, “supports a radical healthcare scheme that would close Washington hospitals.” The ad then flashes a big, scary quote that reads, “HALF OF RURAL HOSPITALS COULD CLOSE” should Long get her way.
Both claims are wrong, and it’s worth taking a moment to knock them down not only to remind voters in a flippable district of JHB’s somewhat cozy relationship with an industry dedicated to bankrupting Americans, but also because Republican super PACs are running similar ads against Democrats across the country. Republicans are coming for the public option, and they’re doing it with a study Big Pharma paid for, and it’s useful to know how to shut them up.
The claim in JHB’s ad rests on the most extreme scenario described in a 2019 study about “the potential impact of a Medicare public option on U.S. rural hospitals.” Partnership for America’s Health Care Future—which is composed of large pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, various private hospitals, and the odd chamber of commerce—paid for the research JHB’s ad cites, so it’s no surprise the paper highlights flimsy doomsday scenarios untethered to reality. And given the amount of money those industries dump into JHB’s campaigns, it’s no wonder she approves their message.
In fact, recent government and academic studies show rural hospitals fare far better in states that chose to expand Medicaid, which typically pays lower reimbursement rates than Medicare, under the Affordable Healthcare Act precisely because insured populations increased. As it turns out, getting some money from the government is better for hospitals than getting no money from the uninsured. Who woulda thunk.
If you’re looking for some more supporting evidence, look no further than Washington state, which chose to expand Medicaid. According to the University of North Carolina’s rural hospital closure tracker, the last rural hospital to close here was Deer Park Hospital, once located north of Spokane. The hospital shuttered all the way back in 2008 “after failing in recent years to admit enough patients,” reports the Spokesman-Review. That’s not to say rural hospitals here aren’t in trouble in WA—they are!—but that’s because health care costs are too high and because the pandemic response caused revenues to dip.
Anyhow, according to her Pandemic Recovery Plan, Long supports a public option and promises to “fight hard for federal funding for our rural hospitals” on top of that. She also pledges to support state-level plans that look like rural hospital boosters implemented in Maryland and Pennsylvania. So, no, Long doesn’t support a “radical healthcare scheme” that would close Washington hospitals. She supports a moderate health care scheme that will likely improve the financial solvency of rural hospitals.
Meanwhile, JHB has voted to roll back Medicaid expansion a couple times, and she bragged about voting to repeal the ACA “more than 80 times,” which would have kicked 20 million Americans off health insurance. Talk about a “radical healthcare scheme.”