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Trust Index: Separating fact from fiction in Michigan Senate race

DETROIT – We’re separating fact from fiction in one of Michigan’s most contentious and most expensive races.

Incumbent Sen. Gary Peters and his challenger, John James, sat down for extended conversations with Devin Scillian on Flashpoint Sunday morning.

They talked about the issues and the claims made in political advertisements.

The central issue in this race remains healthcare and both candidates answered.

“If the Affordable Care Act is repealed -- like the Republicans want to get rid of it -- seniors on Medicare will pay more for their prescription drugs,” Peters claimed.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, without the Affordable Care Act, roughly 9 million Americans who are on Medicare Part D are covered in what’s known as the coverage gap. They would be forced to pay higher prices on prescription drugs. Should the law be struck down, it would force those people back into the gap, raising their drug prices.

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Then there’s where his opponent stands on abortion.

“He believes in no exception,” Peters said of James. “No exception for rape, no exception for incest. That’s a very extreme position.”

Since James’ run in 2018, he has said he is “100% prolife” and compared abortion to genocide. He has also called for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, but when he was asked specifically about exceptions, his campaign said he would make exceptions if the life of the mother was at risk, but he has refused to answer questions about whether those would extend to rape or incest.

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Now to James.

“Sen. Peters is most concerned from staying on his ACA-exempted plan,” James said. “It’s exempted and he hid that from media.”

James is talking about Peter’s benefits plan that he gets through the state after serving in the state legislature instead of the ACA. However, the plan itself is not exempt from the ACA. As for hiding his plan, James is likely referring to amendments Peters made to congressional financial disclosures after initially not disclosing the state plan.

We’re calling this Be Careful because James isn’t exactly correct on how Peters' plan works.

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Finally, we’re looking at a claim James made about Sen. Peters and Medicare-For-All.

“Sen. Peters is saying we’re probably going to have it and that’s documented,” James said.

It’s true, but needs context.

James is referring to a statement Peters made in 2018 at a town hall where he said Medicare-For-All is likely down the road. Peters has said repeatedly said he does not support Medicare-For-All and would rather see a public option similar to what’s being proposed by candidate Joe Biden.

According to recent polling, Peters is up on James by 7 points with just over two weeks from Election Day.

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