This billionaire’s PAC is spreading a big lie about Tammy Baldwin, Medicare, and taxpayer savings

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(Image via Shutterstock)

By Pat Kreitlow

May 7, 2024

Restoration PAC, funded by Uline’s Richard Uihlein, twists the significance of forcing Big Pharma to negotiate for lower bulk pricing on Medicare prescriptions.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is being attacked on Wisconsin airwaves for her work that lowered prescription drug costs and saved taxpayers’ money.

A billionaire with a history of spending big on Wisconsin elections is attracting attention to one of the political action committees (PACs) he funds, after it had to change a TV commercial because of the way its attack on Sen. Tammy Baldwin perversely twisted the significance of allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.

A report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Restoration PAC had to replace an ad that claimed Baldwin voted to “cut Medicare funding and use that money to subsidize electric vehicles.” Progressive attorneys from the Elias Law Group reached out to an advertising purchaser about pulling the ad, according to the report.

The ad’s false claim that has been repeatedly debunked is based on how President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act allows Medicare to negotiate with big pharmaceutical companies for bulk pricing—a seemingly common-sense practice that Republicans had blocked for 20 years since the creation of the Part D prescription drug benefit.

By lifting the ban and getting lower prices, the federal government will save money—as will Medicare recipients on any required co-pays. It is estimated that taxpayers will save at least $162 billion over a 10-year period. Some Republicans tried to make it sound as if Medicare would face a $162 billion cut as a result of the savings—but Medicare benefits will not change even as the federal government is able to spend less. In fact, the Inflation Reduction Act adds benefits such as a price cap on insulin, free vaccines, and a ceiling for out-of-pocket prescription drug prices.

Restoration PAC is funded almost exclusively by Richard Uihlein, president of the Uline shipping and packaging company. The Center for Media and Democracy reported last month that Uihlein and his wife Elizabeth have already given more than $35 million to right-wing PACs and candidates. Forbes estimates their worth at more than $5 billion, and the couple has been among the largest donors to Republican causes in past election cycles.

A spokesperson for Baldwin’s campaign told the Journal Sentinel that allies of Republican Eric Hovde, her likely opponent this fall, will be lying about her record.

“Tammy’s record is clear: she’ll always protect Medicare, always stand up for seniors, and fight for every Wisconsinite and their families, no matter their age or ZIP code,” Jackie Rosa said in a statement.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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