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Reality Check: Neumann ad attacks Obama over health care

Published On: Jul 18 2012 06:23:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2012 09:49:57 PM CDT

Candidates for U.S. Senate are on the air with ads trying to reach voters.

Candidate Mark Neumann's latest ad isn't going after his competitors but rather using a post-apocalyptic-looking hospital as a backdrop to attack President Barack Obama on a hot-button health care issue.

"Barack Obama thinks the government should make every decision for you," Neumann says in the ad. "Now, with Obamacare, he's forcing church-run hospitals to provide abortion-causing drugs."

WISC-TV found this needs clarification. To be clear, the federal health care law deals with who pays for contraceptives, not who administers them.

In January, it was announced that as part of the health care law, most employers must cover contraceptives in health plans without charging a co-pay. Some of those contraceptives, including "Plan B," or the morning-after pill, are considered abortion-inducing by Catholics who claim a moral objection to the drugs.

After some controversy, the Obama administration clarified that churches are exempt and that religious organizations like Catholic hospitals would not have to pay to provide the drug, but they would have to make sure their employees could get it from an insurance company without a co-pay.

That is still objectionable to some Catholic institutions, including Notre Dame, which has sued to say that none of its affiliated organizations should be required to offer the drug in insurance plans. Those lawsuits are still in progress.

"It's bad enough Obamacare will bankrupt America, but government telling religion what to do -- that should scare you to death," Neumann said.

That part is for viewers to decide, but the claim about bankrupting America, WISC-TV found, is misleading. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the president's health care law is actually projected to reduce the deficit over 10 years by more than $140 billion. The bill itself is estimated to cost more than $1 trillion during that time.

"Mark Neumann will stand up to Barack Obama and protect our constitutional freedom," says an announcer in the ad.

It should be noted that the federal health care law was recently upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, although there are lawsuits specific to the birth control issue that are being waged across the country.

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