A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Cadillac Plans and the Middle Class

The liberal group Health Care for America Now is airing an ad that argues against a tax on high-cost employer-provided health care plans, a revenue-raising aspect of the Senate Finance Committee bill. "Some senators say they want to tax so-called ‘Cadillac’ health care plans, but those proposals will also tax the benefits of millions of middle class workers," the narrator says as an on-screen graphic pops up, claiming "40% tax on health care benefits of middle-class workers."

Striking Out on Antitrust

The liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change features the national pastime in a new ad that attacks the insurance industry and calls for competition in the field.

The ad says that "baseball and insurance are the only industries exempt from antitrust law." But that claim is about as accurate as Randy Johnson’s fastball to John Kruk in the 1993 All-Star game. Antitrust exemptions have been granted to quite a few different industries and groups through legislation and judicial review.

Another Salvo from the Insurance Industry

Just a few days after the release of an insurance industry-backed study that found premiums would go up under the Senate health care bill, another industry-backed report has been published. Both reach the same conclusion about premiums. Both fail to take into consideration certain cost-saving measures in the Finance Committee bill. And both acknowledge that.
In an earlier Wire post, we explained some of the limitations of the first report, drawn up by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the trade group American’s Health Insurance Plans and then flagged as a less-than-adequate evaluation of the bill by PwC itself.

Malpractice: Savings Reconsidered

In 2004 we accused President Bush of using “dubious statistics” to support his claim that limiting malpractice awards to injured patients could save the economy between $60 billion and $108 billion per year. Ever since, we’ve said most independent research indicated little if any savings from limiting malpractice liability, and just a few weeks ago …

TGIF

President Obama’s unexpected Nobel Peace Prize may end up being the story of the week, but it was the third-party groups that occupied most of our attention here at FactCheck.org. Once again, health care dominated the discussion, though we also saw some new ads on taxes and on climate change.
We’ve seen both sides making false claims about Medicare. This week it was the conservative group Americans for Prosperity leading with the alarming claim that "Medicare will be bankrupt in 8 years."

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.

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,

Grayson’s Iffy Claims

Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson is facing rebuke from House Republicans for saying that "Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick." In a Sept. 29 speech on the House floor, Grayson said that the Republican health care plan is: "Don’t get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly." Grayson later told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, "What I mean is they have got no plan," and that the lack of plan would allow uninsurance-related deaths to continue.

The DNC and Senior Scare

The Democratic National Committee has released a new TV ad about health care legislation, this time on the Senate Finance Committee proposal.

In the ad, the DNC takes on Republicans for "trying to scare seniors about health reform," saying that news outlets had called their claims "dishonest" and "scare-mongering." The ad’s citations for both quotes check out – the first is from an editorial in the Palm Beach Post, the second from an editorial in The New York Times.

RNC Tax Attack Goes Too Far

The Republican National Committee claims in a new Web ad that Democratic health care plans propose taxes on “charities and small businesses. A doctor’s tax. Taxes on your health insurance. Even a tax on medical supplies.” It’s perfectly true, as the ad says, that “hundreds of billions” in taxes are being proposed – spread over …