Retiree Donna Weiner shows some of the daily prescription medications that she needs and pays more than $6,000 a year through a Medicare prescription drug plan at her home on Oct. 5, 2021, in Longwood, Florida. Credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

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Jared Golden represents Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Not six months have passed since the November election, and already questionable special interest groups are funding misleading ads on TV. Everything about these ads is designed to scare you. The music is ominous, the seniors in the ad look afraid and the numbers thrown around are frightening. But it’s all a lie.

So what’s really happening here? Let’s talk through the  TV ad about me.

The narrator claims that to pay for the Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden proposed “massive Medicare Advantage cuts,” which will result in seniors losing $540 in benefits. We’re about 10 seconds into the ad and already found our first lie. 

In truth, the Inflation Reduction Act was not only paid for in full, but it even reduced the national budget deficit by nearly $300 billion. It did this by closing loopholes that multinational corporations, making billions in profits doing business in America each year, use to avoid paying taxes. It also empowers Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs for seniors. This provision alone is slated to save the Medicare program nearly $100 billion over 10 years.

Moreover, the act will lower prescription drug prices for the more than 262,000 older Mainers enrolled in Medicare Part D, set a $35 monthly cap on insulin for Medicare beneficiaries to protect more than 15,000 Mainers from high insulin prices and put a $2,000 annual out-of-pocket cap for all seniors buying prescription drugs. 

Many drug companies have charged everyday people sky-high prices for far too long. Not only does this bill challenge Big Pharma’s hold on prescription drug pricing, it has measures that will save money for the Medicare program and for the seniors who rely on its benefits. 

So why would the American Action Network, the group behind this ad, make capping costs for seniors out to be a bad thing? Because they are funded by deep-pocketed insurance and pharmaceutical companies who oppose this new law because it will bring savings to regular people and cut into their profits. We know from external dark money accountability groups that the American Action Network has accepted $12 million from Big Pharma and more than $3 million from Aetna, a health insurer

How cynical are these corporations? They are playing on your fears and lying to you about a new law that will benefit you and hurt them and their profits. 

I am taking on the dark money groups that fund fear-mongering ads like this. It’s bad enough that folks have to see ads like these during campaign season, but the fact that special interest groups can take millions of dollars in undisclosed donations and run misleading ads year-round is a problem. That’s why, throughout my time in Congress, I’ve supported legislation to increase transparency and force groups that spend money in elections to reveal the source of their money

Using the purchasing power of the government to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors is the right thing to do. Five years ago, when I announced my run for Congress, I made a commitment to challenge Big Pharma to lower the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs and I’m proud to have delivered on that promise.