Fact Checking Lawmakers’ Claims About Health Bills
NPR began a series called "Is That So?": "As the debate about the health overhaul bill goes on (and on and on) you might find that sometimes what one Senator says seems to be the exact opposite of the next." In the first installment, NPR's Julie Rovner examined Sen. Christopher Dodd's statement: "On the day this bill is enacted, health insurance becomes a buyer's market, not a seller's market. And that's as American as apple pie," and found that "it may be so eventually, but definitely not on the day the bill is enacted."
And, NPR adds that "Sen. Charles Grassley said the bill appears to be revenue neutral. He says that's because CBO counts only the first ten years -- that's 10 years of tax collection and only six years of benefits. He says in the later years, the bill would eventually cause a deficit. Is that so? Well, according to the Congressional Budget Office, no" (Mertens and Rovner, 12/3)
The St. Petersburg Times' Politifact has been checking some lawmakers' statements as well. It rated Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell's Dec. 1 claim that "not a word about controlling junk lawsuits against doctors and hospitals," is in the Senate health reform bill as True, although it adds that the Senate and House "bills don't completely ignore the issue."
And Politifact called Barely True the Nov. 30 statement by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.,"every family that refuses the government's one-size-fits-all plan, will be forced to spend an additional $2,100 a year to keep their current health care." Politifact noted that the statement missed some important qualifiers: this would affect people in the "individual" insurance market (expected to be 17 percent of the population in 2016), and that more than half would receive subsidies towards the purchase of insurance and that, for some, the health benefits would be better than their "current care" (12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.