Monday, April 21, 2014
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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Americans For Prosperity says Sen. Kay Hagan supports Obamacare waivers, special treatment for Congress

President Barack Obama’s health care law is bound to be a central issue of the 2014 midterm elections. In North Carolina, first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, is already facing attacks about Obamacare. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, released an ad against Hagan. It starts out with a series of claims praising women for being breadwinners and job creators. Then, it pivots: “But Kay Hagan just doesn’t get it.” “Hagan supports waivers for friends of Obama and special treatment for Congress and their staffs,” the video continues. Hagan did vote to pass Obamacare in 2010, but …

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Americans for Prosperity: Says "new mandates are already reducing full-time employment."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On November - 6 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Conservative group says Mary Landrieu backs Obamacare even as it decreases full-time employment

Heading into the 2014 elections, Republicans have targeted several U.S. Senate seats in their bid to flip partisan control of the chamber. One of these targeted incumbents is three-term Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. A full year before the election, one conservative group — Americans for Prosperity, founded by billionaire libertarian brothers David and Charles Koch — has already begun to air a 30-second spot critical of Landrieu. The ad ties Landrieu to President Barack Obama’s health care law. As ominous music plays in the background, a narrator highlights Landrieu’s past support of the law and an …

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Barack Obama: "What we said was, you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On November - 6 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Barack Obama says that what he’d said was you could keep your plan ‘if it hasn’t changed since the law passed’

President Barack Obama’s attempt at explanation has only fanned the flames of controversy over his campaign line, “If you like your health care, you can keep it.” Obama was already dealing with a troubled rollout of the healthcare.gov website when reports of health insurance cancellation notices for many Americans started arriving. Such notices have been common only for people purchasing insurance on the individual market, which accounts for about 5 percent of Americans, a small minority. But the existence of people in that situation struck many critics as contradicting his like-it, keep-it promise on its face. Obama’s speech on Nov. …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Rep. Mike Rogers says U.S. shuttering of intelligence operation in 1929 led to World War II

The debate over the federal government’s surveillance policies — prompted by the release of National Security Agency documents taken by leaker Edward Snowden — has revived interest in a decades-old tale of spycraft. The story of the “American Black Chamber” intelligence program came up during an interview with House Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., on the Nov. 3, 2013, edition of CBS’ Face the Nation. Amid a discussion of whether the United States had been wrong to spy on friendly foreign leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Rogers stood up for an aggressive American intelligence effort overseas. “We did …

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Barack Obama: Due to Obamacare, Arkansas "has covered almost 14 percent of its uninsured already."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On November - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Barack Obama says Arkansas ‘has covered almost 14 percent of its uninsured already’ due to Obamacare

Given the troubled launch of the national health insurance marketplace at healthcare.gov, President Barack Obama has been forced to trumpet good news about his signature health care law wherever it can be found. During a speech on the new law in Boston on Oct. 30, 2013, Obama pointed to examples of states that had succeeded in signing up lots of new enrollees. Hearing one of these states Obama cited — Arkansas — struck us as notable, because it has become a solidly red state. In addition, a reader from Arkansas emailed us to see if we could check …

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Mitt Romney: "Health insurance is more expensive in Massachusetts than anywhere else in the country."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On November - 3 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Mitt Romney says ‘health insurance is more expensive in Massachusetts than anywhere else in the country’

When President Barack Obama went to Boston on Oct. 30, 2013, to give a speech supporting his health care law amid a troubled website rollout, he chose the location carefully: Massachusetts was the state that enacted a universal health care law that Obama’s own proposal was based on. So it was natural that elected officials and pundits would begin to compare the Massachusetts plan with Obamacare. For the Nov. 3 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory invited Mitt Romney — the former Republican governor who enacted the law and the 2012 presidential nominee — to discuss …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says ‘it’s illegal’ for her to use the health insurance exchange

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before Congress Oct. 30 for the first time since the federal health care marketplaces went online, answering questions about problems with the website and facing accusations that President Barack Obama lied to the American people about who could keep their health care plan. At the tail end of three and a half hours of testimony, Sebelius had a testy exchange with Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who asked the secretary why she wasn’t enrolling in the exchanges herself. “If I have affordable coverage in my workplace, I’m not eligible to go …

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Valerie Jarrett: "FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Valerie Jarrett says ‘nothing in Obamacare forces people out of their health plans.’

The White House has been on the defensive recently over its claim, repeated numerous times over the years, that under President Barack Obama’s health care law, if you like your health plan, you can keep it. His claim hasn’t worn well amid the letters to hundreds of thousands of Americans with individually purchased insurance plans notifying them that their plans are being canceled. Typically, these policies no longer meet the requirements in Obama’s law, such as the need to cover emergency care, maternity care, mental health or prescription drugs. In August 2012, we gave a Half True to Obama’s …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Dick Cheney says daughter’s opponent Mike Enzi gets larger percentage of PAC money than any other senator

Some fathers help their daughters by teaching them how to ride a bike. But if you’re Dick Cheney, you do it by attacking her political rival on national television. The former vice president appeared on ABC’s This Week on Oct. 27, 2013, to discuss national security issues, and was asked about the Republican primary battle in Wyoming between incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi and his daughter, Liz Cheney. Though Liz Cheney has previously said her father wouldn’t be campaigning for her, he didn’t pass on the opportunity to take a few shots at Enzi. He accused the three-term senator of …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Charlie Sykes says today there are more people on welfare than are working full time

Welfare reform might have passed in 1996 but the idea of welfare remains one of the raw nerves in American politics. Conservative radio talk show host Charlie Sykes tapped into that theme during his regular morning show on WTMJ in Milwaukee. He teed it up by explaining why the American taxpayer was the “loser of the day.” “According to the new census data, the number of Americans who receive means-tested government benefits — welfare — now outnumbers those who are year-round full-time workers,” Sykes said. “Wow. We’ve been struggling, but in terms of the tipping point here, where you …

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David Axelrod: "The vast majority of people in this country are keeping their (health insurance) plan."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 29 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | David Axelrod says ‘vast majority’ of Americans will keep their health insurance

It’s the question-du-jour about the new health care law: Are people going to be able to keep their health insurance if they like it? President Barack Obama has several times said yes. But cancellation notices coming in the mail to policyholders tell another story. The contrast between Obama’s promises and what’s playing out in America has led to a fierce political war of words about who lied, who knew what and when, and how Americans will have to deal with the ramifications. Former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod and Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn debated the issue Monday on MSNBC’s …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Healthcare.gov users ‘waive any reasonable right to privacy,’ Rep. Barton says

With a host of technical problems at the healthcare.gov website, critics of President Barack Obama’s health care law have gone on the offensive. Among the claims we’ve heard recently, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said people visiting healthcare.gov are unwittingly waiving their privacy rights. Barton told Fox News that there’s a problem in the source code that seems to contradict HIPAA, the 1996 law that, among other things, protects the privacy of patients’ sensitive data. “Hidden in the code, there is a sentence that says you waive any reasonable right to privacy of your personal information, the transiting of …

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John Fleming: In Massachusetts, "half of the primary care doctors are not accepting new patients."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 29 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: True | GOP Rep. John Fleming says in Massachusetts, half of primary-care doctors aren’t seeing new patients

As the fallout from President Barack Obama’s health care law takes center stage, some critics are raising concerns about how much access Americans will have to insurance and physicians in the future. On CNN’s State of the Union, Rep. John Fleming, R-La., a physician and a critic of Obamacare, and Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy specialist at the University of Pennsylvania who supports the law, faced off. At one point, they debated the situation in Massachusetts, where a law similar to Obamacare was signed in 2006. As evidence that the federal law won’t work, Fleming said that in Massachusetts, “half …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Obama says some can buy health insurance for cost of monthly cell phone bill

As President Barack Obama has taken a lot of heat for healthcare.gov, the website where people can buy health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, he has turned to his same talking points time and time again. In response to residents’ concerns that Obamacare isn’t affordable, Obama says: “One study shows that through new options created by the Affordable Care Act, nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will find that they can get covered for less than $100 a month. Think about that. Through the marketplaces you can get health insurance for what may be the equivalent of …

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Nick Gillespie: Emergency rooms account for "2 percent of all health care spending."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Does emergency care account for just 2 percent of all health spending?

In recent years, advocates for universal health coverage have regularly decried a side effect of having no health insurance — the use of emergency rooms as a substitute for basic health care services. For instance, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in August 2009, “We have 48 million people with no health care. As a result, they walk into emergency rooms. It’s costing every American who is insured $1,100 to pick up the cost of uncompensated care that goes on at the emergency room.” We gave Boxer’s claim a Mostly False, largely due to questionable assumptions that undermined the calculations …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Lawrence O’Donnell says the IRS cannot pursue ‘either civil or criminal remedies’ for people who don’t purchase health insurance

With the federal government’s online insurance marketplace floundering in its first month, some political pundits are calling for a delay of the hot-button provision requiring most people to pay a tax penalty if they don’t have health insurance. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell is not one of them. Ever since the law passed, he has told his viewers to not fear the individual mandate. He said it again on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on Oct. 21, 2013 while scolding a White House correspondent. “No one ever really has to pay the fine in the individual mandate,” O’Donnell said, …

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Facebook posts: Congress, criminals, Scientologists and other groups are exempt from Obamacare.

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 24 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Congress, criminals, Scientologists and other groups are exempt from Obamacare, claims Facebook post

Internet memes are great for quickly spreading jokes and important information. And because they’re also efficient at sharing inflammatory falsehoods, they keep us busy here at PolitiFact. When a reader emailed us a graphic he came across on Facebook about which groups are exempt from Obamacare, our warning bells went off. Under the headline, “Where is your OPT OUT? Let’s get this straight, it doesn’t exist,” a long list claims to show who is and is not exempt from the health care law, which requires everybody to have insurance beginning in 2014. Groups like Congress and the White House, criminals …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Sean Hannity says health insurance premiums up 99 percent for men, 62 percent for women

If the rollout of the Obamacare website had gone well, we likely would be closer to having an answer to the all-important question: How much are people paying for health insurance and is it more than they did before? But for now, getting reliable answers can be treacherous. Conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity waded into the discussion on his radio program. A caller voiced frustration with the lack of jobs. Here’s the conversation that followed: Hannity: You know what the biggest job killer in the country is right now? Obamacare. Caller: One thing …

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Paul LePage: "About 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 23 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Maine Gov. Paul LePage says 47 percent of able-bodied Maine residents aren’t working

Maine’s Republican governor, Paul LePage, has a history of making controversial comments, from telling the NAACP that the group can “kiss my butt” to charging that a Democratic legislative leader “claims to be for the people but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” Recently, LePage made another comment that has attracted national attention. On Oct. 22, 2013, a blogger for the Bangor Daily News posted an audio clip from a speech LePage made in Falmouth, Maine. Here’s what the blogger wrote: “Informed that the event was wrapping up, LePage said …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Fox News’ Andrew Napolitiano says U.S. is still paying interest on World War I costs

The recent fight over raising the debt ceiling — the limit on how much debt the federal government can carry at a given time — has brought added scrutiny to the history of the United States’ reliance on debt to finance its operations. During a recent Fox News interview, legal commentator Andrew Napolitano offered an arresting factoid. “The government today will borrow money to pay debt on money it has already borrowed and spent,” he said. “I’ll give you one statistic. Woodrow Wilson borrowed $30 billion to fund World War I in 1917. That money has not been paid …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Marco Rubio says he never favored a government shutdown and voted to fully fund the government

Now that the federal government shutdown is over, the blame game is well under way. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., emphasized that he didn’t favor a government shutdown even though many observers have accused his party of instigating the shutdown as a way of defunding or delaying President Barack Obama’s health care law. On Oct. 20, 2013, host Chris Wallace asked Rubio whether he was “really prepared to keep the government shut down” when he voted against the final deal to re-open the government and avoid hitting the debt ceiling. “Well, let me be clear,” Rubio responded. …

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Sam Stein: "No one beta-tested" healthcare.gov.

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 22 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Huffington Post’s Sam Stein says ‘no one beta-tested’ health insurance marketplace website

The rollout of the Obama administration’s health insurance marketplaces website has been so roiled with problems — from a pricing glitch, to flawed data, to widespread log-in fails — that even journalists from left-leaning media are calling for top officials to be hauled before Congress. But while appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Huffington Post political editor Sam Stein went a bit too far in criticizing the agency’s prep work before the Oct. 1 launch of healthcare.gov. Or at least that’s what he told us when we asked him. “It seems from all of the reporting, and from …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Celebrated chef Tom Colicchio tweets that relatively little debt accumulated under Barack Obama

Tom Colicchio is a celebrated chef, restauranteur and reality TV personality. But how is he as a political tweeter? We recently noticed a tweet Colicchio sent to his 420,000-plus followers on Oct. 20, 2013, that offered the percentage increase in the federal debt under the past five presidents. Here’s the text of the tweet: “Debt increase by POTUS: “Reagan 186% “Bush 54% “Clinton 41% “Bush II 72% “Obama 23% … “Interesting.” This sounded familiar — in 2011, we fact-checked a claim by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that President Barack Obama “increased the debt” by 16 …

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Maria Bartiromo: "As a result of Obamacare, we are becoming something of a part-time employment country."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 22 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Bartiromo says Obamacare is turning us into ‘a part-time employment country’

Among the many problems that critics of Obamacare like to highlight, one of the more common is that the health care law undermines jobs and the economy. This was Maria Bartiromo’s theme when she was on NBC’s Meet the Press. Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell, said the glitches that have beset the rollout of Obamacare are not the only issue. “Businesses have changed their plans as a result of Obamacare,” Bartiromo said. “We are becoming something of a part-time employment country. We’re seeing some groups moved off of health care from business because business is complaining that it’s …

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