Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Lie of the Year: Readers' Poll results

We offered readers 10 finalists for the Lie of the Year for 2013. It’s the fifth year in a row we’ve asked readers to weigh in via an online poll. We received 14,278 votes this year, a record turnout.

First place among readers overwhelmingly went to President Barack Obama, for his repeated statement, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."    

Here are the full results:

If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Obama repeatedly made this claim in previous years; back then we rated it Half True. When people got cancellation notices in the individual market this year, Obama claimed, "What we said was, you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed." That got a Pants on Fire.

59%

Congress is exempt from the health care law. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said, "President Obama just granted all of Congress an exception" to Obamacare during an August speech in Iowa. False.

8%

The IRS will keep a database of health secrets. In May, Michele Bachmann gave a TV interview in which she claimed the IRS is going to be "in charge" of "a huge national database" on health care that will include Americans’ "personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest-secrets." Pants on Fire.

7%

No U.S.-trained doctors will accept Obamacare. In an October column, Ann Coulter wrote, "No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare." Pants on Fire.

7%

The United Nations is coming for your guns. Chain emails repeatedly claimed that the United Nations has "adopted a proposed agenda" to enable member nations to "disarm civilians within their borders." False.

5%

The FISA Court is transparent. In a June interview, President Barack Obama defended the government’s monitoring of telephone and Internet traffic by invoking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and saying the court "is transparent." Pants on Fire.

4%

The United States doesn’t tolerate genocide. After Syria entered a civil war and many civilians were killed, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said, "The United States has never stood by and seen innocent people slaughtered to the extent that's happening in Syria." History shows we have. Pants on Fire.

3%

Muslims are exempt from Obamacare. A chain email claimed the word "Dhimmitude" is on page 107 of the health care law and means "Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance." Pants on Fire.

3%

Other (write-in votes)

3%

Obamacare means forced home inspections. Bloggers passed around a claim in August that a health care law provision will allow "forced home inspections" by government agents. Pants on Fire.

1%

Obamacare will question your sex life. Betsy McCaughey wrote an op-ed for the New York Post in September that said doctors will be required to ask about your sex life under Obamacare. Pants on Fire.

1%