As the Center for Media and Democracy reported previously, the Dewey Square Group lobbying firm is sending newspapers fake letters to the editor. The letters promote Medicare Advantage, a private health insurance plan, and are sent in the name of local seniors. The Eagle-Tribune paper was tipped off when Noah, really "an intern at the Boston office of the Dewey Square Group," called about one of the letters, claiming he was the letter writer's grandson. But the woman whose name was on the letter doesn't have a grandson named Noah, and didn't send the letter. Dewey Square is sending the Astroturf letters "under the banner of 'The Coalition for Medicare Choices,'" and also "bringing seniors to 'Medicare Advantage Community Meetings,' featuring 'free food' and 'door prizes,' with congressmen and senators, and offering them sample letters to Congress or local newspapers." Dewey Square's Mary Anne Marsh claimed, "no one's trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes." Instead, she suggested that "the time that elapsed between the meetings when the seniors saw the letters and the letters' arrival at the newspaper may have clouded some memories." The campaign comes after Democratic proposals, backed by President Obama, to cut funding to Medicare Advantage and use "the savings to expand health care coverage for all."
By Diane Farsetta on April 15, 2009