High Five: Obamacare fact checks get most clicks
Obamacare, the repeal and replace of which has bedeviled Republicans, was the topic of the PolitiFact Wisconsin fact checks that received the most page views during July 2017.
But readers also clicked often on two checks involving President Donald Trump, regarding transgender people in the military and his productivity in the Oval Office.
And our High Five was rounded out by our look at the Milwaukee streetcar project, which is under construction.
Let’s review, starting with the most clicked:
1. U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis: Republicans have " won a thousand seats since Obamacare."
Our rating: Mostly True.
Many factors, in addition to dissatisfaction with Obamacare, explain the decline of Democrats around the country, including frustration over Washington gridlock, voters’ fears over budget deficits, national security, immigration, tax reform, the global economy, wages and jobs. But the thousand seats figure is accurate.
2. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.: "In the ‘40s, 68 cents of every health care dollar was actually paid for by the patient, today it’s only 11 cents."
Our rating: Mostly True.
The numbers track with studies and official statistics. But Johnson is comparing two vastly different eras in health care, including one from a period when fewer people were covered by health insurance and thus paid for costs from their own pocket.
3. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis: "More than 15,000 transgender Americans" are "serving in the military today."
Our rating: Half True.
A UCLA study estimated the figure is 15,500, while a more recent study by the RAND Corp. estimated 2,150 to 10,790. There are no official counts, so Pocan goes too far in flatly stating his figure. But his figure matches one of two prominently cited estimates.
4. Trump: "We’ve signed more bills -- and I’m talking about through the legislature -- than any president ever."
Our rating: False.
The 42 bills he had signed into law through 178 days in office trails the number signed by at least six other presidents at that point in their presidencies.
5. Save Our City, Milwaukeeans Can't Wait: Tom Barrett "has directed that tens of millions of City of Milwaukee tax dollars be used for the construction of a downtown trolley at the expense of: health and public safety; repair and replacement of public infrastructure; public education; and, job creation and economic development."
Our rating: Mostly False.
Tens of millions of tax dollars are being directed toward construction of a downtown-area streetcar line, which is now under way. But it is in the form of borrowing that can only be done for projects such as a streetcar. These are not funds that would otherwise be available for purposes such as police and schools.