The ad, "Question From Don," features retired coal miner Don Disney of Harlan County, who says, “Senator, I’m a retired coal miner. I want to know how you could’ve voted to raise my Medicare costs by six thousand dollars. How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?” Grimes and Disney sit silently for a few seconds, then she says, “I don't think he's gonna answer that.”
"McConnell cast no such vote," write Adam Beam and Calvin Woodward of The Associated Press. "The bill he supported in 2011, on which the ad's claim is based, proposed moving ahead on a plan in the House by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to privatize Medicare over time. Some analysts said that could eventually raise costs for beneficiaries. But elderly people such as Disney — already retired or approaching retirement — would see no changes. . . . Neither Grimes nor her campaign explained why they showcased a Medicare recipient who would have been exempt from the changes proposed under Ryan's plan." Joe Arnold at Louisville's WHAS-TV called the ad "misleading."
In a detailed response, the Grimes campaign cited a National Journal forecast that the bill would "increase costs for seniors before 2022," when privatization would begin; and that the vote also meant McConnell "voted to increase seniors’ drug costs" because the plan would cut nursing-home funds and "repeal protections that keep prescription drug costs down by closing the Part D loophole" (actually, the "doughnut hole" between basic and catastrophic benefits).
However, Grimes "bypassed a question Tuesday about what she would do differently" with Medicare, Jacqueline Pitts of cn|2's "Pure Politics" reports. "When asked by Pure Politics what plan she would like to see to shore up the Medicare program for future generations, Grimes moved on to another question. A reporter from the Associated Press asked the same question as Grimes was leaving but she did not respond then either. The Grimes campaign later responded to the question emailed again by Pure Politics with an excerpt from the campaign website in which Grimes says she is running to protect Medicare."