Obamacare myths and a Texas judge's 'trash it' letter

Pants on Fire: The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.
Pants on Fire: The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

Shortly after colleagues at PolitiFact in our nation’s capital stacked up the top fact-checked myths of the Obamacare law, we heard from an Austin reader about potentially nightmarish effects of the 2010 law.

The reader wondered if a letter, attributed to a judge in Marble Falls, Texas, was correct.

Among the judge’s supposed warnings: The law provides for citizens 76 and older to be refused cancer treatment and also provides health coverage to residents lacking legal permission to live here. Also, the quoted warning says, physicians will be paid the same regardless of speciality.

More: The forwarded message says the law won’t apply to members of Congress. (Incidentally, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, got that wrong not long ago.)

In June 2013, PolitiFact Oregon looked into the message, rating it as Pants on Fire!

And as for the judge?

David Kithil, no longer a judge, told PolitiFact Oregon that in 2009 he indeed wrote a letter to his local newspaper, protesting the initial version of the health care act. The letter was published in the River Cities Daily Tribune. Somehow, he said, the letter was republished online. And of late, Kithil said, he wants readers to disregard his letter as it is outdated and based on legislation that did not become law.

"I’ve had calls from all over the country, 300 to 400 calls over three or four years on this," he said. He pleads with the callers, "Don’t pass it on. It’s not accurate anymore. Trash it."

He says he still has problems with the Affordable Care Act, but that’s neither here nor there.

Lesson: If something seems unbelievable, check the facts. It might even be ridiculous.

What else?