Friday, October 31st, 2014

Stretching the truth (again!) on health care

This Facebook post says the middle class will bear the burden of the Obamacare tax. Is that accurate?
This Facebook post says the middle class will bear the burden of the Obamacare tax. Is that accurate?

The reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the health care law is keeping the Truth-O-Meter busy.

Health care has always been fertile ground for falsehoods and exaggerations -- 36 percent of health care claims earn a False or Pants on Fire, compared with 29 percent for all subjects -- and the claims after the health care decision have kept the Truth-O-Meter in the red.

Some of our recent fact-checks:

Does Obamacare interfere with doctors? Mitt Romney claimed that "Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor." We found virtually no evidence to support that -- indeed, physician groups have endorsed the law -- and rated it False.

Better for everybody!  Nancy Pelosi offered hearty praise for the law with her claim that under the health care law, "everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access."
We found that some people will actually be paying more and rated her claim False.

Higher premiums on the exchanges - Florida Gov. Rick Scott said cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office say that in the health care exchanges, the virtual marketplaces where people will shop for coverage, the average family will pay about $2,100 more. We found he was ignoring the important detail that they will get more benefits for that money and that people getting the same benefits they receive now would pay less. We rated his claim Mostly False.

Does the middle class shoulder the tax burden? A Facebook post said 75 percent of the tax penalty of the health care law falls on the middle class. We found the number was based on a generous definition of "middle class" and that it ignores many other taxes that are targeted on the wealthy. False.