Thursday, September 18th, 2014

High Five for October: Obamacare gets hits

The launch of the health insurance online marketplace drew renewed attention to Obamacare during October 2013.
The launch of the health insurance online marketplace drew renewed attention to Obamacare during October 2013.

Good thing our website worked.

By a wide margin, the PolitiFact Wisconsin article that got the most page-views in October 2013 was a roundup of 10 fact-checks about the Affordable Care Act.

We published that item, with a strong assist from our colleagues at PolitiFact National, two days before what turned out to be the failed launch of the Obamacare online health insurance marketplace. The item included previously rated claims from three Wisconsin pols.

Finishing in second place was our first-ever item on Mary Burke, the newly announced Democratic candidate for governor. We rated as Half True her statement that Wisconsin had 84,000 more jobs when she served as the state commerce secretary under Gov. Jim Doyle. Burke was right on the number, but she overstated the credit she and Doyle deserve, and skipped past the recession that helps explain the statistical truth.

Receiving the third-most page-views was another Obamacare item.

We rated Half True a claim by U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) that under the health reform law, members of Congress must buy insurance from the online marketplace, while President Barack Obama and members of his administration get to keep "gold-plated" coverage. The first part of the claim is correct, but the federal offerings are roughly comparable to what Congress can buy in the marketplaces, not vastly superior.

Another article, rather than a Truth-O-Meter item, came in fourth place. We looked at whether a proposed casino in Kenosha, south of Milwaukee, would cost an existing Milwaukee casino 40% of its revenue.

Rounding out the High Five was a Pants on Fire claim by political newcomer Amar Kaleka, a Democrat who announced plans to run in 2014 against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). He admitted he made a "sloppy" comment when he said Wisconsin had sold fresh water to California to boost that state’s dairy industry.

As always, you can email us at PolitiFact@journalsentinel.com, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/politifact.wisconsin, and on Twitter at @PolitiFactWisc. We especially appreciate suggestions for statements that we should consider fact checking.

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