Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Cory Booker, Upendra Chivukula make claims about GOP plans on campaign finance, Medicare

Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks to #waywire about the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Republican goals regarding campaign finance and Medicare figured prominently in the Truth-O-Meter’s weekend rulings.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter handed down a True ruling Sunday to Newark Mayor Cory Booker and a Mostly True ruling on Monday to Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula for their claims about GOP plans on both issues.

Booker claim

In a Sept. 5 interview to #waywire, a news and video aggregation site he co-founded, Booker said the national Republican platform calls for repealing the McCain-Feingold Act. The 2002 law, formally called the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, made a number of changes to campaign finance. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has since overturned parts of the law, Booker, a Democrat, claimed the Republican Party platform calls for dismantling what’s left of the law.

Booker then pointed to the Democratic Party platform, saying that it calls for more regulation of campaign finance activities.

PolitiFact New Jersey reviewed both parties’ platforms and determined that Booker’s claim is correct.

Chivukula claim

Chivukula, who is challenging Republican Leonard Lance in November for his House seat, claimed in an Aug. 31 interview on NJToday that Republicans want to convert Medicare to a voucher program.

Current Medicare recipients or those eligible for the program by 2023 would not be affected by the proposal offered by Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, who also is Mitt Romney’s running mate. The GOP-controlled House approved Ryan’s proposal in March as part of a budget resolution but the Democrat-led Senate rejected it.

Starting in 2023, the Republican plan would provide premium support payments for new beneficiaries to buy private insurance or a plan that acts like traditional Medicare. Those payments would either cover or offset the cost of health care premiums.

Chivukula, who represents parts of Somerset and Middlesex counties, used the word "voucher" to describe the Republican plan, but experts have differed on whether that word is appropriate to describe premium support payments.

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