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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Health Savings Still Optimistic

Back when he was courting voters, then-candidate Barack Obama boasted that his health care plan would save the typical family "up to $2,500" a year. And May 13, as President Obama, he repeated the claim, this time relying both on undefined "comprehensive reform" and a cost-control promise by the insurance and medical industries to garner such benefits:

Obama, May 13: On Monday I met with representatives of the insurance and the drug companies, doctors and hospitals,

The Real Scott’s Shady?

We had plenty to say recently about a misleading health care ad from a group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. We criticized the ad on its merits — but another organization has taken a different tack.

Health Care for America Now released this TV spot, titled "Shady," on May 7, attacking the character of the chairman of CPR, Rick Scott. The ad says that Scott’s former company (that’s Columbia/Hospital Corporation of America) "pleaded guilty to 14 felonies" in a Medicare fraud case that involved "overbilling"

Government-Run Health Care?

A group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights began airing a television ad this week that criticizes government-run health care and falsely suggests Congress wants a British-style system here in the U.S. The ad neglects to mention that President Obama hasn’t proposed a government-run plan and, in fact …

Obama at Georgetown

Q: Did Obama ask Georgetown University to remove all religious symbols before he would speak there?
A: A religious symbol was covered at the Catholic and Jesuit institution after the White House asked for a neutral TV backdrop.

Afghanistan History

President Obama seemed to rewrite history in his remarks on Friday in Strasbourg, France, telling an audience at a town hall event:

Obama, April 3: But after the initial NATO engagement in Afghanistan, we got sidetracked by Iraq, and we have not fully recovered that initial insight that we have a mutual interest in ensuring that organizations like al Qaeda cannot operate.

But NATO didn’t have a mission in Afghanistan until Aug. 11, 2003, several months after the U.S.

Mandatory Public Service

Q: Is Congress creating a mandatory public service system? Are participants not allowed to go to church?
A: The national service bill does not mandate that youth must participate nor does it forbid anyone who does participate from going to church.

Illegal Backyard Garden?

Q: Would a new bill in Congress make my backyard organic garden illegal?
A: A House bill proposes to split the Food & Drug Administration, creating a separate entity to oversee food safety. It’s aimed at food sold in supermarkets and doesn’t say anything about organic gardening, pesticides, farmers’ markets or that tomato plant in your backyard.

Guns for Pilots

Q: Is it true that Obama is dropping the federal safety program that allowed pilots to carry guns?

A: No, the program is not being ended, according to the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the largest airline pilots union. In fact, TSA says the program is being expanded. The claim comes from a Washington Times editorial that has been removed from the paper’s Web site.

Will Work for Small(ish) Businesses

In his remarks to small-business owners March 16 at the White House, President Obama repeated a statistic we’ve heard from both Democrats and Republicans. (Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
used it this month
on "Fox News Sunday.")
Obama said small businesses are responsible for creating "roughly 70 percent of all new jobs in the past decade."
That stat is one put forth by the Small Business Administration. The SBA says that small businesses "have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade."

Education Spin

Last year, the president touted U.S. gains in education, saying that our “fourth- and eighth-graders achieved the highest math scores on record.” He bragged that “African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs.” Last week, the president said those eighth-graders weren’t so great at math after all …