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Published October 21, 2011, 03:07 PM

ND Dems: Berg Used Taxpayer Funds in Campaign 'Propaganda'

North Dakota Democrats say Republican representative Rick Berg used taxpayer funds in recent mailers distributed in the last two weeks and that some of the facts presented in them are false.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

North Dakota Democrats say Republican representative Rick Berg used taxpayer funds in recent mailers distributed in the last two weeks and that some of the facts presented in them are false.

In the past, Democratic members of Congress have sent out similar mailings.

Allison Kelly, the Dem-NPL Communication Director said that "If Berg plans to spend our tax dollars on mail that looks like it came from his campaign, the least he could do is tell North Dakotans the truth."

Berg claims in the mailers distributed across the state that Medicare will be insolvent by 2030, the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will run out of money and that the Affordable Care Act has caused doctors to leave the Medicare program.

Kelly says that those allegations are false, citing the Affordable Care Act.

Berg claims that an "unaccountable government panel" will ration care by "imposing strict controls on the amounts and volume of future Medicare services and payments."

According to the Affordable Care Act, the "nonpartisan government agency" was tasked with the job of finding ways to reduce the growth in Medicare. The proposals from the agency shouldn't include rationing health care, raising revenues or Medicare beneficiaries.

In the mailers, Berg says that the health care law cut $500 billion from Medicare. But according to a Democratic Policy and Communications report, the Affordable Care Act saved Medicare $500 billion.

Members of Congress are alloted so-called "franking" funds for direct constituent communication, which the flyers would be included in.

A Berg representative says that direct communication is important and was the reason the mailers were sent out.

Last year, Democratic senator Kent Conrad sent out similar mailings about president Barack Obama's health care law, claiming it was a "myth" that the program was a government takeover.

Kelly says North Dakotans should be notified of the expenditures and that the "misappropriation" of the funds brings Berg's ethical standards under question.

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