Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Top 5 'Back to the Future' health care claims

Surprise! With all these health care claims flying, it feels like 2009 again.
Surprise! With all these health care claims flying, it feels like 2009 again.

The temperatures are high. The rhetoric is hot. It feels a lot like … August 2009.

The calendar may say July 2012, but  last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care law has brought back a variety of charges and counter-charges that were hurled around when Obama’s health- are proposal was initially being debated.

In a blizzard of chain emails and public statements, veterans of the health care wars are seeking to relitigate the very same issues that swirled during the initial debate in the second half of 2009.

Here are a few of the claims we’ve seen resurrected in recent days:

-- Several readers asked whether there was anything to a claim that the health care law would allow microchips to be implanted in Americans. (Yes, they really asked us this.) In 2009, we fact-checked a chain e-mail that claimed that data-storing microchips "would be implanted in the majority of people who opt to become covered by the public health care option" and rated it Pants on Fire.

-- One reader forwarded us a graphic that sought to show how similar the federal health care law is to the one signed by then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. We’ve looked at this question a couple of times and found the claim to be generally accurate. In this fact-check, we gave a Mostly True rating to the claim that the Obama proposal was "identical to the Massachusetts health care plan."

-- One reader asked for assistance in evaluating a claim that the IRS is hiring phalanxes of new agents to enforce the tax provisions of the health care law. We have taken up that claim in various forms. Here’s a fact-check that rated it Mostly False.

-- On CBS’ Face the Nation on July 1, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner referred to the health care law as "government taking over the entire health insurance industry." We gave our 2010 Lie of the Year to the claim that the law was "a government takeover of health care."

-- Finally, readers never really stopped sending us the chain email that claims that "if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8 percent sales tax on it." In fact, it’s probably the most frequent email readers send us. We have ruled it Pants on Fire on a couple occasions.