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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s Glowing Assessment

The president made another push for health care legislation March 3, while being flanked by physicians and nurses in the East Room of the White House. Much of what he said in describing his proposal was correct, but he went a bit overboard with a few of his statements.
In a remark reminiscent of last week’s spat with Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander over premiums, Obama said most people would save money under his plan:

Obama: Our cost-cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current Senate bill,

Voting for a Health Care Takeover?

A relatively unknown conservative group called the League of American Voters has launched an ad attacking Democratic members of Congress for, in the words of the TV spot, voting in favor of “Obama and Pelosi’s health care takeover." But the ad is filled with misleading claims.
 

 
The group’s Web site says it is running similar ads "across the nation." We contacted the group to ask where exactly the ad is airing, but we have yet to receive an answer.

More Pre-Summit Hype

A group partly supported by the Service Employees International Union is out with an ad that criticizes insurance companies and asks: "If health reform fails THEN what?" The Foundation for Patients’ Rights TV spot highlights the well-publicized rate-hike (as high as 39 percent) that had been planned by California’s Anthem Blue Cross — and which was postponed after public criticism from the Obama administration. But the ad also includes this shaky claim about the insurance industry: "2.7 million Americans were denied coverage"

Still on the Table?

So, what about those Republican health care plans? Contrary to claims made by some Democratic detractors, detailed GOP proposals, and a bipartisan bill with several GOP cosponsors, do exist. And they’re scheduled to get attention at a half-day, televised “summit” meeting at Blair House on Feb. 25, with …

The Big Bank Bailout Bill?

A third-party group, the Committee for Truth in Politics, is out with an ad blasting the House’s "Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act." The group, which has no Web site and has made no disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, was created by a North Carolina GOP operative, according to National Public Radio, and is represented by lawyer James Bopp, who sued the FEC on the grounds that the group shouldn’t have to file any kind of spending report to that agency.

Congress Exempt from Health Bill?

Q: Does the health care bill specifically exempt members of Congress and their staffs from its provisions?
A: No. This twisted claim is based on misrepresentations of the House and Senate bills, neither of which exempts lawmakers.

Counting Conundrum

We’ve been questioning the Obama administration’s claim that the stimulus bill would "save or create more than 3.5 million jobs" since the president began saying it. In February, we pointed out that although several economists made such a projection, they all said there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding these estimates. Late last year, the administration’s effort to count actual stimulus-created (or saved) jobs was plagued by the reporting of jobs in nonexistent congressional districts. And now,

Whoppers of 2009

Although 2009 was not an election year, it kept us exceptionally busy, and led to millions of visits to our site. In this year-end summary, we offer some of the worst examples of the falsehoods we encountered during the first year of the Obama administration. The list of howlers includes the false claim that the stimulus bill would dictate …

Public Option Vs. Single Payer

Q: What is the difference between a "public option" and a single-payer plan?
A: Single-payer is a complete government-run health insurance system under which everyone is covered, e.g., Canada’s system. The "public option" is a single federal insurance plan that would compete with private insurance companies.

What Happened on Flight 297?

Q: Did Muslim terrorists stage a "dry run" on AirTran flight 297?

A: The airline and an eyewitness say this e-mailed claim is "an urban legend" spread by persons who "live in a fantasy world."