Saturday, November 1st, 2014

In Pa., 11th-hour attacks on health care

SUMMARY: Whose health care plan is better? Obama and Clinton continue the fight. We find some less-than-stellar use of numbers on cost and coverage, and a quote taken out of context.

For all the Pennsylvania policy wonks out there, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama took a break from Bosnia and flag pins to get back to an oldie but a goodie: health care plans.

Both ads start with the allegation that the other one is on the attack.

"Clinton goes on the attack," says Obama's ad.

"Obama on the attack," says Clinton's ad.

We agree that there are lots of attacks, so let's move on to fact-checking their health care claims. We've checked some of it before, but a few points are new.

• Clinton's ad says Obama's plan will leave 15-million people out . We checked this back in December 2007 and found it to be Half True.

• Her ad also says that her plan will cost taxpayers $1,700 less to cover each person than Obama's plan. We found the ad is taking a broad study and applying it too specifically to Clinton's and Obama's health care plans. We rated this claim Barely True.

• Obama's ad says Clinton is willing to garnish people's wages if they refuse to buy health insurance. What she said is that there will be an enforcement mechanism for the universal mandate that's part of her plan, and garnisheed wages is one possibility. We gave his statement a Half True .

• We also previously checked Obama's claim that Clinton forces people to get health insurance even if they can't afford it. We found that statement Half True .