MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The future of Medicare is center-stage in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

And there are some really good reasons for wanting to slow down the growth of Medicare spending in the future. But candidates cannot seriously discuss it without getting hammered– unfairly– in negative ads from their opponents.

“These hands. They taught me to tie my shoes,” begins a new campaign ad by Republican Chip Cravaack.

The incumbent Cravaack is featured standing next to his elderly father as he takes a shot at his Democratic opponent, Rick Nolan.

“My opponent believes that cutting $700 billion from Medicare won’t have an impact on seniors. I disagree,” the ad says.


Nolan supports the Affordable Care Act, which cuts $700 billion from future Medicare Advantage spending on reimbursements to hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies.

It does NOT affect current benefits for seniors.

It’s a 10-year effort to slow down Medicare spending, starting in 2013.

And what Cravaack doesn’t mention: He voted for an almost identical cut– twice.

And that’s the subject of a new Nolan campaign ad.

“The truth. Cravaack’s radical budget would undermine Medicare,” the Nolan ad says.”Cravaack voted to essentially end it, raising costs more than 6000 a year.”

The Nolan ad is DECEPTIVE, too.

Cravaack voted for the Paul Ryan budget plan, which– like President Obama’s health care — also cuts $700 billion from Medicare.

No current senior is affected.

Beginning in 2023, future seniors could get subsidies to buy health insurance, or choose to stay on Medicare.

Medicare appears to be a key issue in the Minnesota 8th District Congressional race.

And it’s becoming one of the most hotly contested races in the country.

A study by Kantor Media/CMAG with analysis by Wesleyan Media Project shows MN-8 ranks fifth in the nation with $1.75 million in spending in the last 2 weeks of September.

MN-8 follows races in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Arizona.

(credit: CBS)

Here are some of the sources used for this Reality Check:

Chip Cravaack for Congress


Rick Nolan for Congress


Paul Ryan Budget


Summary of Affordable Care Act


Medicare Funding



Medicare Mis-Statements



National Survey of Campaign Ads



Pat Kessler