A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Insurance Industry: Spinning the Polls

Harry and Louise may have switched sides, but that’s no excuse, in our book, for the health insurance industry to resort to misrepresenting polls as it argues against inclusion of a public plan in health care overhaul proposals on Capitol Hill.
Karen Ignani, the head of industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), told lawmakers that “77 percent of Americans are satisfied with their existing health insurance coverage,” according to today’s Washington Post.

July 22, 2009

There were 272 million visits to U.S. national parks during the 2007 calendar year.
Source: National Park Service

RNC: Health Care “Risky Experiment”

The Republican National Committee announced a new TV ad attacking President Obama’s proposed health care plan as a “risky experiment” that threatens “our health.” It said the ad would run in Arkansas, Nevada and North Dakota.

The ad says “trillions” have been committed to “rushed” bailouts and takeovers of banks and the auto industry. Fair enough, though $68 billion of the bank bailout money already has been repaid, with interest. It may even be so that the Obama administration has embarked on the “biggest spending spree in our nation’s history,”

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 14 – July 20

This week, readers sent us comments on our Web site redesign, health care and bogus e-mail rumors.
In the FactCheck Mailbag we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

July 21, 2009

The fastest a giraffe has been recorded running is 34.7 miles per hour.
Source: San Diego Zoo

Lunar Conspiracy Theorists: Come Back to Earth!

Today is the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s successful landing on the moon – yet there are still those who would claim that the entire landing was a hoax. In 1999, Gallup reported that 6 percent of Americans did not believe U.S. astronauts ever landed on the moon, with another 5 percent (somehow) still unsure. One of the most common-sense responses to these theorists was spoken by Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke, who, according to The Space Review,

July 20, 2009

On today’s date in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Shortly thereafter, Buzz Aldrin became the second.
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

‘Brown Bailout’? Hardly

Last month, FedEx launched a multimillion-dollar online campaign against longtime rival United Parcel Service over a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill making its way through Congress. FedEx says a provision of the bill, as passed in the House, amounts to a “bailout” for UPS. But that’s an abuse of the term.
The measure would bring drivers and other non-airline-based employees of FedEx’s Express division, which handles “time-sensitive shipments,” under the coverage of the National Labor Relations Act,

Energy Bill and Existing Homes

Q: Does the House energy bill subject owners of existing homes to an energy efficiency audit before they can sell?
A: Rep. Boehner and Rush Limbaugh got this wrong. The Realtors and home builders associations say there’s no such requirement in the bill, as do we.

Selling Out the Public Option?

Sometimes, “follow the money” is great advice if you’re trying to figure out how Washington works.
Often, though, it’s not that simple.
A case in point is the new ad from Democracy for America, the netroots group founded by Howard Dean, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The spot, which is on the Internet and which the groups have promoted with e-mails to their supporters, implies that some Democratic senators have been paid not to do the right thing.