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Wash. Post’s Fact Checker: Democrats Repeat ObamaCare Claims “Found To Be False Or Exaggerated”

March 21st, 2011 by MarkTwain · No Comments

With the one year anniversary of President Obama signing the unpopular 2,700 page health care bill into law coming this week, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog examined some of the claims made by Democrats about it last week.

The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler writes, “House Democrats held a birthday party last week for passage of the health-care law. Just as we looked at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s floor speech noting the milestone, we will now examine some of the claims made by Democrats. McConnell framed his speech in negative terms, citing data to back up his language. Both Democrats and Republicans can pick and choose numbers and studies to make their case, but we found that generally McConnell did not exaggerate or use bogus figures. In fact, he correctly described a Congressional Budget Office analysis suggesting a potential reduction in employment of 800,000 jobs (technically, one-half of 1 percent of household employment in 2021) that other Republicans have misrepresented. By contrast, House Democrats appear to show little hesitation about repeating claims that previously have found to be false or exaggerated.”

One claim Democrats repeated was then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that “[h]ealth insurance reform creates 4 million jobs . . . .” Evaluating her claim, The Fact Checker writes, “Here, Pelosi is repeating a talking point from the health-care debate. The 4 million figure comes from a report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning group, which estimated that universal health care would add 250,000 to 400,000 jobs a year. Pelosi took the top end of the range and then multiplied it by 10, a numerical sleight-of-hand that Polifact last year labeled ‘half true.’ A Pelosi spokesman noted she has been using this statistic for 14 months now, but we frown on the reuse of statistics previously found to be suspect. In this case, since the bill has passed, the Congressional Budget Office has done its own analysis (the one McConnell cited) that cast some doubt on the CAP analysis, written before the bill was passed into law. Presumably, members of Congress should pay more attention to estimates by their own budget agency than think tanks that promote their agenda. Repeating this dubious statistic is worth at least a Pinocchio or two.”

Another selling point Pelosi and other Democrats repeatedly used on the health care spending bill was the idea that it would somehow “reduce the deficit more than $1 trillion over the life of the bill” while it was increasing government spending on health care. According to The Fact Checker, “This is another bogus statistic for which we have previously awarded three Pinocchios. . . . Pelosi claims more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction by using a 20-year figure that is particularly absurd. As we wrote in January: ‘There are too many uncertainties to be precise, and the CBO itself merely offered a tentative guess of a “broad range of around one-half percent of GDP,” with significant caveats. Democrats simply took that percentage, multiplied it against the predicted size of the GDP 20 years from now (itself a pretty fuzzy figure) and, presto, they had a number. But it’s a fairly meaningless one.’”

Rasmussen Reports:

53% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law, 50% Say Repeal At Least Somewhat Likely

Video: Charlie Dooley Calls Obamacare Protestors “Nothing But Haters”

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