Now this is just hilarious. It turns out that a recent Harry Reid ad that attacked Sharron Angle for her alleged right-wing positions on health care in the state legislature appears to have been false. And Reid’s source for the claim was…Sharron Angle’s false statements about her record in the state legislature.
This can get a bit confusing, but here we go, courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun. Throughout this campaign, Angle has touted her past legislative work on health care, which she said included a bill to remove all mandates that require insurance companies to require certain illnesses and procedures. (Some conservatives allege that requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for key areas of care, such as mammograms, should be repealed because it drives up premium costs for everyone.)
[TPM SLIDESHOW: ‘Showdown In Searchlight’: Tea Partiers Rally To Boot Harry Reid]
“If you go to my website, you’ll see my record,” Angle said at a debate during the Republican primary season. “I introduced three bills. One would have taken off all of the mandates on insurance. That’s one of the solutions. We have to have a senator who will go and introduce something like that that says we don’t have mandated coverages on insurance.” Angle has also made similar remarks in interviews with the state’s newspaper editorial boards.
The Reid campaign began hammering this issue recently, such as in this TV ad from last week:
“In the Assembly, Sharron Angle tried to repeal the law that makes insurance companies cover mammograms. She wouldn’t even cover mammograms,” the announcer said.
The Reid ad was based on Angle’s statements about her past record and her current platform. But as the Sun discovered, Angle’s past record is quite the opposite of how it’s been represented — she never filed the mandate-repeal bill, and actually supported various mandates:
An exhaustive search of Angle’s record as a four-term state legislator turns up no legislation to repeal the dozens of state mandates requiring insurers to cover such things as mammograms, osteoporosis and autism and several experimental cancer treatments.
Yet during her time in the Legislature, Angle proposed no fewer than five laws that would have required insurance companies to cover specific conditions, undermining her persona as an ideologically pure conservative who relentlessly pursues limited government policies.
She co-sponsored a bill to require insurance companies cover mammograms and another bill, which she later voted against, to cover osteoporosis treatment. She co-sponsored legislation that would have required an insurance company to continue covering the treatment of a patient if the company’s contract with the provider was canceled before the treatment was completed.
In fact, some of Angle’s actual proposals in the Nevada legislature were to the left of the new health care law. For example, she proposed requiring insurance companies to carry the adult children of policyholder up until age 30, four years beyond the new law’s age requirement of 26. She also would have required insurance companies to cover policyholders’ elderly parents, if the parents’ incomes were below the federal poverty limit.
The Angle campaign reacted quickly to this discrepancy — by slamming the Reid campaign for airing a false ad, which was of course based on Angle’s own claims. “Reid’s campaign made a false ad, they have no evidence of the bill they reference,” spokesman Jarrod Agen said in an email. “Obviously, they are lying again.”
Meanwhile, the Reid campaign has a press release titled, “Angle’s Handlers: Please Don’t Listen to Sharron, She Lies.’
“Sharron Angle’s effort to hide her extreme and dangerous agenda from Nevada voters has taken on a disturbing twist, escalating a campaign based on lies even further - her new DC handlers are now arguing the Reid campaign’s ads are false, because they quote Sharron Angle in her own words,” said Reid spokesman Kelly Steele, in the press release. “With a ‘pathological’ candidate, it can be tough to keep track of all the lies, but it’s truly shocking that her new DC handlers are resorting to the argument that our ad is false because their candidate was lying.”
The TPM Poll Average currently has Reid ahead by 47.7%-45.2%.