Friday, November 28th, 2014

The president diagnoses Obamacare, while Rhode Island mulls assault weapons: PolitiFact Oregon Roundup

President Barack Obama at The Hague, the Netherlands. He sought to rally the international community Monday around efforts to isolate Russia following its incursion into Ukraine. (AP photo)
President Barack Obama at The Hague, the Netherlands. He sought to rally the international community Monday around efforts to isolate Russia following its incursion into Ukraine. (AP photo)

Claims touching on health care and guns have left fact-checkers around the country a bit swamped lately.

And today’s PolitiFact Oregon Roundup is no exception. With President Barack Obama weighing in on the success of his own signature law, we figured today wasn’t the time to put our feet up and coast.

So let’s jump right in.

1. Taking the temperature of the president’s health-care law

The president, in a Rose Garden talk touting the Affordable Care Act, said "more than 3 million young adults have gained insurance under this law by staying on their family’s plan."

PolitiFact’s look found that it’s difficult to pin down a specific number, but that it ranges from less than 1 million to 3.1 million. "Obama’s estimate may be quite high," the story found, "but his point that the law’s mandate has increased coverage in that age range is spot on. We rate his claim Half True."

2. The ups and downs of Obamacare

Conservative pundit Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, recently said, "The numbers of people that support Obamacare and like it have been steadily dropping."

PunditFact's check dug into a number of recent polls, which show that Americans remain divided on the health care law, and most polls show that more people oppose it than support it. "But we found no evidence that people who once supported the law are "steadily" changing their minds," according to the story. "Not even in the poll Cheney specifically cited. We rate Cheney’s claim False."

3. An expansion here, a cut there

In Virginia, Republicans are claiming that Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is planning to help fund Medicaid expansion by taking money from education and other state services.

PolitiFact Virginia’s check turned up no proof that this is McAuliffe’s plan. It labeled the claim "sensational" and noted that the GOP ignores that the governor has proposed using savings from Medicaid expansion to bolster other state programs, including education. "So the GOP has a grain of truth, but ignores critical facts that would give people a different impression," the piece concluded. "We rate it Mostly False."

4. Fort Hood: Screenings as an ounce of prevention

In Texas, Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke recently about the second shooting at the Texas military base Fort Hood in less than five years. In proposing a more rigorous screening process for people seeking to enlist in the military, he said, "…there’s not a mental health evaluation when people enter the service."

PolitiFact Texas' check allowed that lawmakers and military officials can debate what steps should or should not be taken, but added, "we can’t find any flaw in McCaul’s characterization of the current procedures. We rate it True."

5. To ban or not to ban?

In Rhode Island, Rep. Linda Finn, D-Middletown, addressed the topic of gun violence recently, saying, "By a two-to-one margin, Rhode Islanders want to ban assault weapons and we have a very small percentage of gun owners in this state, less than 13 percent."

PolitiFact Rhode Island wanted to determine if support for an assault weapons ban is really that high and the level of gun ownership really that low. Finn based the first part of her claim on a recent robocall poll. The gun ownership aspect is based on dated studies that have not been renewed. "Because Finn’s statement is accurate but need clarification," the story concluded, "we rate it Mostly True."

Have some shots of your own you’d like to take? Or suggestions of what we should include in our next Roundup? Let us know. And, as always, thanks for reading.