A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

October 8, 2009

The U.S. Postal Service has 656,000 career employees.
Source: USPS

Going Out of Business?

A new health care ad from a conservative group claims that “Medicare will be bankrupt in eight years.” That gives a false impression. The program does have huge financial problems, but there’s no reason to think it’s going out of business as the word “bankrupt” implies. And …

October 7, 2009

An average of 667 million pieces of mail are processed each day by the U.S. Postal Service.
Source: USPS

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5

This week, readers sent us comments on medical errors, car insurance mandates and the postal service.
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.

October 6, 2009

There were 14.2 million computers in U.S. schools, as of the 2005-2006 school year.
Source: Census Bureau

Targeting Ensign

We’re not ones to doubt that money can influence politics. But uncovering a paying-for-favors scandal takes more than a mere list of campaign contributions and a few committee votes.
That tactic, however, is being used – again – in the health care debate, this time in an ad from the liberal group Health Care for America Now. HCAN’s TV spot, which will run in Reno and Las Vegas for one week on a $110,000 buy, draws a link between Republican Sen.

October 5, 2009

The average annual salary of public school teachers in the U.S. is $50,758. The highest state average is in California ($63,640) and the lowest is in South Dakota ($35,378).
Source: Census Bureau

October 4, 2009

More than half of the United States’ 9.9 billion pounds of total apple production in 2008 came from Washington state.
 
Source: Census Bureau/USDA
 

October 3, 2009

In 2008, an average of 31 million children each month participated in the national school lunch program.
 
Source: Census Bureau

62%: Conventional Wisdom or “Dubious Research”?

The liberal group Health Care for America Now has come out with another ad attacking the health insurance industry. The ad is running as part of a million dollar ad buy, according to the group. It repeats a claim that is being made repeatedly as the debate over overhauling the health care system heats up.

The ad says "62 percent of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt," and the group’s backup points to a study conducted by Harvard researchers,