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Morning Memo: McCrory budget may emerge soon, men oppose 'nipple bill'

McCRORY BUDGET RELEASE NEXT WEEK? Top GOP lawmakers say Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to release his state budget plan next week. The governor's office is remaining mum. But budget details are leaking to lawmakers, who say McCrory's spending plan isn't like to include details of a major tax overhaul, such as corporate or personal income tax cuts, and instead it will assume the tax plan being negotiated privately by Republicans will be revenue neutral.

MEN OPPOSE NIPPLE BILL: Public Policy Polling will release more from its statewide voter survey later Friday. But here's a peak: nearly half of men -- 45 percent -- oppose the bill to prohibit women from barring their breasts and 34 percent support. Women are deadlocked at 38 percent on what is called the "nipple bill." (Insert stereotypical joke about men here.)

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- a roundup of North Carolina political news and analysis. Send news and tips to dome@newsobserver.com. And read much more below.***

Senate leader spreading bad information about Obamacare

Senate leader Phil Berger is circulating an online petition to "Stop Obamacare in North Carolina."

The Eden Republican says the state Senate has already passed a bill and now it's "up to the House and Governor to protect us from:

- The government turning over our health records to the IRS

- Government-forced insurance

- Billions in new taxes on businesses and the people of North Carolina."

There are a few problems with those statements.

'Mr. Rouzer, don't touch my Medicare,' seniors say in new TV ad

In a new television ad, Mike McIntyre is hitting Republican rival David Rouzer with the Romney-Ryan plan to revamp Medicare. 

"Mr. Rouzer, don't touch my Medicare," an elderly gentleman says in the 30-second spot, which features a number of senior citizens echoing the same message.

Romney follows N.C. bus tour with misleading TV ad

Mitt Romney launched a TV commercial in North Carolina on Monday about welfare even though it clearly maligns President Barack Obama's record.

The new ad, "Long History," is a repackaged version of a controversial line of attack Romney's camp debuted last week. In the 30-second spot, Romney claims that Obama's plan for welfare doesn't including work requirements. PolitiFact rated it "Pants on Fire" and Factcheck.org said it "distorts the facts."

Ad has AFP with 'pants on fire'

Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize winning fact checker, says a new ad run by Americans for Prosperity rates a "Pants on Fire" designation — meaning the ad isn't true and makes a ridiculous claim.

The ad features Tracy Walsh, a South Carolina woman and breast cancer survivor. Walsh says a recommendation by an advisory panel that women do not necessarily need to have regular mammograms before age 50 could mean that under Democratic health care proposals, women such as Walsh might have died because she would not have been able to get a mammogram.

A version of the ad that encourages voters to call U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat, is running in parts of the state.

Politifact found that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a group representing U.S. health insurers and the American Cancer Society say that mammograms for women between 40 and 50 would be covered under the new plan. The Senate bill, which is the one under consideration in the House, specifically states that the new recommendations are meaningless.

In short, this is a bogus issue. If the bill passes, preventive services recommended by the task force would become the bare minimum insurance companies in the exchange would be required to cover. And with regard to mammograms, specifically, they would be covered for women over 40.

Americans for Prosperity got the wrong messenger. With a mother who died of cancer, Walsh is practically a poster child for the kind of person who the task force believes ought to get a mammogram before 50. And she gets her insurance through her husband's insurance. Nothing in the health care bill would change how she (or the 4 out of five Americans like her) would have received care through employer insurance. More importantly, Americans for Prosperity seized on an issue — free mammograms for women between 40 and 50 — that was specifically taken care of with not one, but two, Senate amendments. We rule this claim Pants on Fire!

The nonpartisan Web site Factcheck.org also put the ad to the test. Likewise it found the ad was just wrong, going so far as to call some of the ad's claims "absurd."

"This ad from Americans for Prosperity caught our eye because of the sheer number of falsehoods it hits on, both new ones and old faithfuls," Factcheck.org wrote. 

UPDATE: Brad Woodhouse, the communications director for the Democratic National Committee, is calling on his brother, Dallas Woodhouse, the N.C. director of Americans for Prosperity, to pull the ad.

A previous version of this post misstated which groups are confident that mammograms will be covered.

Dallas Woodhouse said Americans for Prosperity believes the ad is accurate:

HR3590 creates over 100 new federal entities overseeing nearly all aspects of the doctor/patient relationship, including systems for developing standardized treatment recommendations based on comparative effectiveness research and incentives to pressure doctors to follow those recommendations.  That vast new bureacratic overlay, combined with the individual insurance mandate to purchase a Washington-defined minimum benefits package, is in our view a Washington takeover of our health care.

While the current guidance from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force carries an exception for family history, there is ambiguity whether it would be covered in HR3590's minimum benefit package because it is rated as an "C" preventive service.  Our point is that such decisions should be made by patients and doctors, not by Congress as this legislation would envision.

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