In a victory lap following his landslide re-election Nov. 5, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, hit four of the five major Sunday morning talk shows. On ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos talked about 2016 Republican primary prospects with Christie. Stephanopoulos flagged Medicaid as a potential source of criticism from Christie’s own party. "You didn't set up an exchange, but you did accept the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare," Stephanopoulos said. "And some of your potential rivals like Ted Cruz are going to come after you on that. What's your answer?" Christie’s response was in line with his ...>> More
Chris Christie: "Given how expansive our program already was," expanding Medicaid in New Jersey due to Obamacare "was a relatively small expansion."
He may have served in the Senate for less than a year, but Sen. Ted Cruz. R-Texas, has already made enough waves to secure a guest appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. During the interview, Cruz took aim at the nation’s low rates of economic growth in recent years. "You know," Cruz said, "in the last four years, our economy has grown on average 0.9 percent a year. It’s not working." We knew that in recent years, economic growth has been weaker than usual. But has it really been as low as Cruz said? Economic growth is ...>> More
Steve Israel: "Things went wrong with the Medicare prescription D plan that George Bush rolled out."
Democrats are pleading for patience as they try to reassure the country that the online insurance marketplaces critical to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul can be fixed. Big programs have seen rocky rollouts only to achieve success later, they say. Their top example: the 2005 launch of Medicare Part D, President George W. Bush’s prescription drug benefit plan. "Things went wrong with the Medicare prescription D plan that George Bush rolled out," Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., told MSNBC on Nov. 6. "When things go wrong, there are two things we can do as a country. We can spend all our ...>> More
Mr. Conservative: Says the Obama administration is handing out a pamphlet titled, "What To Do When The Veteran In Your Classroom Attempts A Mass Shooting"
On Nov. 12, 2013, a blog called Mr. Conservative posted an alarming headline -- especially so given that it was just one day after the Veterans’ Day holiday. The story, which was forwarded to us by a reader, was headlined: "Obama Admin. Hands Out Pamphlet: 'What To Do When The Veteran In Your Classroom Attempts A Mass Shooting.'" The story went on to say that "veterans all across the country are upset" with the Education Department-issued pamphlet. Veterans, the site said, "are taking the stance that this makes it look like ‘all veterans are PTSD-crazed cauldrons of rage.’ " ...>> More
Americans for Prosperity: Says Kay Hagan "supports waivers for friends of Obama and special treatment for Congress and their staffs."
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
Barack Obama: "What we said was, you can 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. ...>> More
Mike Rogers: In 1929, the Secretary of State shut down a program that was "collecting information to protect America" because it was "unseemly," but that move led<strong> </strong>to "millions and millions" of deaths in 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 ...>> More
Barack Obama: Due to Obamacare, Arkansas "has covered almost 14 percent of its uninsured already."
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 ...>> More
Mitt Romney: "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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
Barack Obama: Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans "can get health insurance for what may be the equivalent of your 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 ...>> More
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 ...>> More
Lawrence O'Donnell: "The IRS has been specifically forbidden … from ever actually pursuing 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, ...>> More
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 ...>> More
Sean Hannity: "In 45 out of 50 states, on average men are seeing their premiums double, going up 99 percent. Women up 62 percent."
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 ...>> More
Paul LePage: "About 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work."
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 ...>> More
Andrew Napolitano: "Woodrow Wilson borrowed $30 billion to fund World War I in 1917. That money has not been paid back. And we are still paying interest on it."
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 ...>> More