A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Czar Search

Q: Does Obama have an unprecedented number of "czars"?
A: "Czar" is media lingo, not an official title. But our research shows that George Bush’s administration had more "czars" than the Obama administration.

Immigrants and Insurance

Several readers have e-mailed us about a report from the Congressional Research Service that they say proves illegal immigrants will have coverage under the proposed House health care plan. In fact, that report says exactly what we concluded yesterday: The bill does not provide coverage for illegal immigrants, but there’s no enforcement mechanism explicitly specified. The newly created Health Choices Commissioner would be responsible for deciding how applicants for the affordability credits would need to prove their eligibility.

Obama’s Speech to Schools

Q: Did Obama change his back-to-school speech in response to pressure from conservatives?

A: One exercise in the accompanying lesson plan was reworded.

Cancer Rates and Unjustified Conclusions

A number of opponents of new health care legislation, most recently our old friend Betsy McCaughey on "The Daily Show," have claimed that cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. than in countries with nationalized health care. They conclude from this that the state of general health and health care quality in the U.S. must therefore be higher. Does the U.S. really have a higher cancer survival rate? And what does that mean about our health care system?

Private Insurance Not Outlawed

Q: Will the House’s proposed health care plan outlaw private insurance?
A: No. Those who are claiming that the plan would get rid of private insurance or make it illegal are misinterpreting the bill.

There He Goes Again: Obama’s False $6,000 Claim

At a nationally televised "town hall meeting" in Portsmouth, N.H., today, President Obama repeated a claim about health care that we’ve disputed in the past.

Obama: So we want – if I’m a customer, if I’m a consumer and I know that I’m overpaying $6,000 for anything else, I would immediately want the best deal. But for some reason, in health care, we continue to put up with getting a bad deal. We’re paying $6,000 more than any other advanced country and we’re not healthier for it –

O RLY?

Yesterday, we wearily acknowledged that nothing would dissuade birth-certificate doubters from their conviction that Barack Obama is not a United States natural-born citizen. As if on cue, dentist/lawyer Orly Taitz appeared on the "Colbert Report," and told the faux pundit that nothing short of retroactive zombie naturalization would convince her that Obama was qualified to be prez.

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The money quote:

Colbert: What would he have to do to satisfy you and those in your movement?

False Euthanasia Claims

On former Sen. Fred Thompson’s radio show, former lieutenant governor of New York Betsy McCaughey said that the House’s proposed health care bill contained a provision that would institute mandatory counseling sessions telling seniors how “to do what’s in society’s best interest … and cut your life short.” House Minority Leader John Boehner made a slightly more measured …

The Last Word? We Wish.

We at FactCheck.org are grateful to the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theorists for hundreds of thousands of page views to our "Born in the U.S.A." article from last November, and to our other items debunking some of their more outrageously false claims. We’re less grateful for their thousands of sometimes abusive e-mails claiming that we’re perpetuating a dangerous falsehood, among the more printable comments. Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, is also fed up.

Health Care Nostrums

The Republican National Committee has released a new Web ad about health care. The RNC has some fun with the issue, framing its ad as a parody of pharmaceutical advertisements. Warning: trying to sort out fact from fiction in this video may lead to headaches, shortness of patience, and excessive Googling. If you experience any of these side effects, we recommend consulting the FactCheck.org archives.
The ad offers the sobering fine-print side effects of "Reforma," the health care reform "drug."