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Barletta Claims Sen. Casey Campaign Ad On Pre-Existing Conditions Is 'Hurtful, Insensitive'

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) -- A campaign ad for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey against his Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, featuring Stacie Ritter and her twin daughters with cancer is stirring up social media.

Casey campaign ad: "In Congress, Barletta voted to let insurance companies strip coverage for pre-existing conditions. Why would I ever vote for Lou Barletta?"

Barletta took to Twitter to denounce this ad.

"What Bob Casey did with that commercial is one of the most hurtful, insensitive thing that I've ever experienced in my entire political career," Barletta said in a video.

What irked Barletta was the ad features twins with cancer, something for which Barletta's twin grandson Jordan is now undergoing treatment.

"Bob Casey knew that my grandson, my 18-month old grandson, who is a twin has cancer. I told him and his wife a month ago," Barletta noted in the video.

The Casey campaign says the ad has nothing to do with Barletta's twins.

It's about Stacie Ritter's twins, a family Casey has known since 2009 and has frequently cited, long before this election year.

Ritter herself has become an advocate for the pre-existing insurance protection in the Affordable Care Act.

Casey campaign ad: "There are no words to describe the terror we felt when doctors said they both had cancer. Our whole world changed. Thank God we had health insurance, but if Lou Barletta has his way, kids like mine could be denied the care they need."

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"To run a commercial showing twins with cancer and to say I would deny my own grandson health care might be the lowest thing I have ever experienced in my entire political life," said Barletta.

Barletta did vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, but he insists he supports measures to protect those with pre-existing conditions from losing insurance or having to pay higher premiums than anyone else.

Casey says that's just not true.

His campaign has announced that they will be pulling the ad from Barletta's home market.

Casey said in a statement Monday the parallels were unintentional and he takes Barletta at his word about the impact it had on his family.

The ad will not circulate in the Scranton area, but it will continue in Pennsylvania's other TV markets.

Voters will decide three weeks from Tuesday.

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