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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 24 – Nov. 30

This week, readers sent us comments on (what else?) health care legislation, cap and trade, and FactCheck.org as spam blocker.

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.

Wishy-Washy Legislation

It’s clear to the most casual observer that the current Senate [health care] bill can be interpreted many different ways and produces many different results. This indicates to me that this is bad legislation. Every question asked generates an “It depends” answer. Nobody seems to understand the direct impact of this proposal let alone the unintended consequences. And there are always unintended consequences.

Paul Tyler
Orlando, Fla.

One (or Thousands) Too Many

FactCheck.org wrote: "MoveOn is out with a new ad that says: ‘Nearly 45,000 people a year die because they have no health insurance.’

"We wrote about that figure in September. It comes from a study conducted by researchers affiliated with Harvard Medical School and published in a peer-reviewed journal. But the 45,000 figure is the highest we’ve seen in any such study. Other scholars have also found that those without insurance have a higher risk of dying prematurely than those with coverage, but put the death toll at 60 percent of the Harvard figure, or less."

And I say: Isn’t even one person one too many?

Gerardo C Smith
Miami, Fla.

Leveling the Playing Field

The cost of health care for small business is at least finally fair [See "Health Care and the Economy," Nov. 17]. As a small business owner who has struggled with providing health care for years when many if not most of our competitors do not, I am gratified the playing field will finally be level. It might be said that the lack of fairness is the current American dilemma, whether it be in health care, incomes or military sacrifice.

Lee Trucks
Manistee, Mich.

Cap-and-Trade Trade-off

In regards to the provision in the proposed cap and trade bill to pay for carbon offsets in developing countries, it seems like a transfer of wealth to typically corrupt governments. It seems the money would be better spent on developing new technologies that would increase efficiency and reduce or sequester carbon emissions.

Scott Wiles
Eastport, Maine


Thank you for your tireless and non-partisan research to validate or debunk rumors. This is by far the best source out there.

M Barrett
Houston, Texas

Big Thanks. I have some friends who wear FOX-colored glasses. They have cut way down on their outrage-of-the-day e-mails to me since I began responding with a direct url to your appropriate page! No muss, no fuss! Wish I could picture you guys. Do you lie to each other on break? You know, for some relief? Anyway, you should know that FactCheck kills 97.2 percent of all erroneous chain-spam, and is the web’s #1 defense against truth decay, a major cause of bad press.

Robert "Scobie" O’Hara
New Orleans, La.