Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

GOP Mailers Point of Contention ; Praeger Steps into Jenkins, Wakefield Argument over Affordable Care Act

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

GOP Mailers Point of Contention ; Praeger Steps into Jenkins, Wakefield Argument over Affordable Care Act

Article excerpt

Campaign mailers from U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins pouring Friday into the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas triggered criticism from the state's Republican insurance commissioner and the Democratic candidate for Jenkins' congressional seat.

Jenkins, who is competing against Democrat Margie Wakefield for another term in the district that includes Topeka, printed on postcards sent to homes of potential voters that the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama resulted in Medicare benefit cuts, higher insurance premiums and cancellation of health plans.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said in an interview information shared by Jenkins on Medicare cuts, premium rates and policy cancellations was "just across-the-board wrong."

Lee Mondesitt, spokesman for Jenkins' campaign, stood by contents of the congresswoman's critique of the ACA and denounced Wakefield for embracing the "failed Obama agenda" on insurance reform.

"The facts are clear, Margie Wakefield loves Obamacare that cancels healthcare plans, cuts Medicare, and is raising premiums for hardworking Kansans. Kansans know that Obamacare is a complete disaster," Mondesitt said.

Wakefield said distortions in the advertising was evidence of Jenkins' interest in "fanning the flame of distrust and obstructionism."

"I have said from the beginning that while ACA has flaws, our focus should be on fixing them and certainly not by cynically lying about its impact for the purpose of fear-mongering," Wakefield said. "Her obsession with the ACA by voting over 50 times to repeal it and even shutting down the government over it is clear evidence of her role in the dysfunction in Washington."

Regarding Medicare adjustments, Jenkins contended in mailers that benefits were "being cut by more than $700 million."

Mondesitt said the source was a 2012 article in The Washington Post that highlighted a document from the Congressional Budget Office, which has since been updated, that concluded repeal of ACA would increase spending on Medicare by an estimated $716 billion over the 2013-2022 period. …

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