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May 02, 2011 10:03 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 1, 2011

Hours before President Obama announced U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama bin Laden, more pedestrian and partisan news ruled the Sunday morning airwaves. On Fox, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) falsely blamed $4 trillion of debt on President Obama and then incorrectly claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn't be a big deal. On ABC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) tried to defend his budget by claiming people don't like it because there is "misinformation" swirling around and not because it dismantles the social safety net. Elsewhere on Sunday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) each claimed that the U.S. needs a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, an idea rejected by experts on both sides of the aisle. And on NBC, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dishonestly claimed that the Ryan Budget would increase funding to Medicare, while criticizing the Affordable Care Act for cutting Medicare, a claim which is also untrue.

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April 28, 2011 5:31 pm ET

McCaughey Uses The GOP Budget To Attack The Health Care Law

As the health care law's number one enemy, Betsy McCaughey is up to her usual attacks on the Affordable Care Act, this time in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. While she avoids endorsing the GOP budget, she uses her special brand of convoluted logic to proclaim that since the health care law already destroyed Medicare, people should therefore support the GOP budget because it saves Medicare for future retirees. She falsely claims private insurance will lower long term health care costs better than Medicare. And she distorts the role of the Independent Payment Advisory Board in the health care law, calling it a "rationing panel." Overall it's a tired attack on the Affordable Care Act and weak defense of the Republican budget.

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April 25, 2011 9:32 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 24, 2011

On Easter Sunday, two Republicans expressed the same dangerous, sweet-sounding idea about the debt limit. According to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), we needn't worry about raising the limit because the Treasury can still make interest payments without borrowing further. That may be music to voters' ears, but economists say that such a move would undermine the recovery and wipe out investor confidence in the U.S., causing the economy to spiral downward. Coburn went on to falsely claim that the president has not included entitlement reform in his debt-reduction plans. Elsewhere on Sunday, would-be 2012 candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) told Fox that the GOP's Medicare plan is "identical" to the Affordable Care Act and wouldn't cost seniors anything extra, while Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AL) told CBS that the plan does not replace traditional Medicare with a voucher system. None of these claims is true.

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April 14, 2011 4:37 pm ET

The Republican Budget Hits Poor, Elderly, and Children Hardest

Last week Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the GOP's first 2012 budget plan, entitled "The Path to Prosperity," which proposes to cut over $4 trillion from the deficit by slashing discretionary spending and reforming entitlements. To do so, the plan would block grant Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps), turn Medicare into a voucher system, and eliminate the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions uninsured. The proposal would also disrupt American's ability to get housing assistance. The only budget document the new GOP House majority has produced thus far puts the onus of paying down the debt on those most in need: America's poor, children, and the elderly.

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April 12, 2011 11:42 am ET

Rep. McCarthy Claims New Medicare Plans Will Be "Exactly" Like Congress' Health Care

This morning on Fox News, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) adopted Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) talking point, claiming that the Medicare reform proposed in Rep. Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" will grant seniors access to health care plans "exactly" like those available to members of Congress. In reality, however, federal employees' health care plans are structured in a way that prevents rising health care costs from transferring to beneficiaries, while Ryan's Medicare reform proposal contains no such safeguards. Over time, rather than 'saving' Medicare, Ryan's proposal would force seniors to pay more and more of their costs out-of-pocket.

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April 04, 2011 10:47 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 3, 2011

The Sunday political talk shows dedicated most of their time to Libya, but the ongoing budget struggle in D.C. grabbed some attention as well. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) appeared on Fox News Sunday to disseminate a standard GOP talking point blaming President Obama and exonerating President Bush for the nation's debt trouble. Ryan also did some laughable cheerleading for his health care plan, which he says is not a voucher system even though the CBO uses the word "voucher" a half-dozen times in describing how the plan would work. Meanwhile, on ABC, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) dissembled about the effects of a balanced budget amendment, and absurdly criticized Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for 'refusing to take up' a partisan House bill that the Senate already voted on.

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March 25, 2011 9:45 am ET

Benefits For Young Adults In The Affordable Care Act

This week marked the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, bringing with it many benefits for young adults. In the past, young adults were typically forced off their family's health insurance plan once they turned 18 or 21, or when they graduated from college. Now, the Affordable Care Act gives young adults the peace of mind that they can get health care coverage even if they are no longer a student, haven't found a job, or if their job doesn't provide coverage. The new law also ensures that young adults won't denied care because of pre-existing conditions or have their coverage dropped because of illness. It means that all young adults will know that they — not insurance companies — will be the ones in control of their health care.

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March 24, 2011 9:03 am ET

Benefits For Women In The Affordable Care Act

March 23rd marks the one year-anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, bringing with it many benefits for women and families. For too long, American women have been at the mercy of the private health care industry. Without insurance, many women are unable to access basic preventive care and often rely on their spouse's employer-provided insurance plan. The passage of the Affordable Care Act changed all of that. The new law protects the health of women and their families in a variety of ways: insurance companies can no longer charge a woman more just because of her gender; they cannot discriminate on coverage simply because a woman has had a Caesarean section or because she was a victim of domestic violence; it protects women's health by increasing access to preventive services; and children can longer be denied care because of a pre-existing condition. This means women and their families will be able to get the care they need when they need it most.

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March 23, 2011 3:51 pm ET

Republicans Celebrate The Affordable Care Act's One-Year Anniversary By Reviving Old Lies

This morning on Fox News, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) declared that President Obama and supporters of the Affordable Care Act "keep saying things that aren't true" about the law, while Republicans continue to "put the facts out and our facts are backed up by the authorities." Of course, Hatch has it exactly backwards, which was evident today as Republicans commemorated the health care law's one-year anniversary by repeating worn out lies about a "government takeover" that will destroy jobs, cut Medicare benefits, increase the deficit, and raise premiums. Let's examine the real facts about the Affordable Care Act.

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March 23, 2011 8:50 am ET

Benefits For Consumers In The Affordable Care Act

March 23rd marks the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, ending some of the worst insurance company abuses and putting consumers, not insurance companies, in control of their health care. Many of the new consumer protections provided by the Patient's Bill of Rights in the new law have already gone into effect, including protecting people with pre-existing conditions and chronic diseases from being at the mercy of insurance companies. The law also prevents companies from dropping coverage when people get sick and from limiting the care they receive. Furthermore, it makes sure insurance companies spend premium dollars on care, not profits, and cracks down on excessive premium rate hikes.

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March 22, 2011 8:50 am ET

Benefits For Seniors In The Affordable Care Act

March 23rd marks the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, bringing with it many new benefits for seniors. The law improves the quality and scope of health care for seniors by closing Medicare's prescription drug benefits gap; empowers seniors to stay in their homes and still receive long-term care services; guarantees comprehensive preventive care coverage; and eliminates insurance company loopholes that have been used to deny coverage. By slashing government waste, fraud, and abuse within the Medicare and Medicaid systems, the new law not only saves taxpayer dollars but also provides seniors with better coverage. The Affordable Care Act empowers seniors to have more freedom and gives them back control over their health care decisions.

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March 21, 2011 4:02 pm ET

Rep. Issa Offers False and Contradictory Critique Of Health Care Reform Waivers

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, defied logic when, in the same week, he complained both that the Obama administration's implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is simultaneously "politicized" to the benefit of Obama's "favored constituencies" and that the policy is being implemented "arbitrarily." In fact, neither claim is true.

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March 21, 2011 9:43 am ET

Benefits For Small Businesses In The Affordable Care Act

March 23rd marks the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, bringing with it many new benefits for small businesses. In particular, the law provides tax credits to make it more affordable for small businesses to provide health coverage to their employees while still allowing them the flexibility they need to compete in the economy. It also gives small businesses the choice and freedom to come together to leverage their purchasing power. Additionally, provisions in the law prevent health insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, which helps prevent job lock and encourages entrepreneurship. These benefits give small businesses the level playing field they need to compete.

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March 14, 2011 9:50 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 13, 2011

Natural disasters nearly crowded out political chatter on the Sunday talk shows, but conservative guests dutifully plugged talking points into the spaces between stories about leaking reactors and coastal devastation in Japan. Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) are still clinging to the notion that the Recovery Act didn't lead to the current economy recovery, and each man blamed President Obama for the spike in gas prices that's followed recent political turmoil in the Middle East. McConnell also claimed the government's done nothing to address entitlement costs, although the Affordable Care Act took a number of steps to reign in the health care spending that's darkening our fiscal horizon. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-TN) falsely insisted that tax cuts increase revenues on Fox News Sunday, while Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) misled Meet the Press viewers about Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) campaign rhetoric.

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March 07, 2011 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 6, 2011

For the first time in weeks, the Sunday political shows didn't touch on GOP union-busting efforts in Wisconsin and elsewhere, choosing instead to focus on national economic issues. That meant a series of tired talking points from familiar Republican faces. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) implied Democrats have raised taxes, when in fact they've cut taxes by hundreds of billions. Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) ignored economic growth and 1.5 million new private sector jobs in the past year to attack President Obama's economic policies. Bachmann also misled NBC viewers about the Affordable Care Act and the partisan nature of the Tea Party. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed the administration has protected government workers at the expense of private sector jobs. On less familiar topics, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) dishonestly insisted American Muslims don't cooperate with law enforcement despite much evidence to the contrary, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) foolishly claimed that Apple electronics are manufactured in America. Somebody should tell that to the Chinese factory workers who built your iPhone.

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February 28, 2011 4:49 pm ET

GOP Governors Seek Medicaid Block Grants That Would Destroy Jobs, Undermine Health Care Reform

Coming out of the National Governors Association meeting this weekend, several Republican governors have a new talking point — they want federal block grants to fund Medicaid. Governors like Rick Scott (R-FL), Scott Walker (R-WI) and Haley Barbour (R-MS) are touting block grants — capped allotments of money — as the solution to the lack of flexibility in their state Medicaid programs. However, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows that the increased flexibility would come with financial risks and costs to the states, as well as cuts to Medicaid eligibility and benefits. Additionally, providing states with block grants for Medicaid would fundamentally change how the program is funded and would ultimately undermine the Affordable Care Act.

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February 15, 2011 1:58 pm ET

A Comprehensive Fact Check Of Gov. Barbour's Comprehensive CPAC Falsehoods

As the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference got underway, potential 2012 presidential candidate Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) took to the microphone to deliver a rambling half-hour-long speech crammed with tired talking points copy-and-pasted from the prior speeches of more prominent Republicans.

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February 14, 2011 3:23 pm ET

Sen. Barrasso Lies At CPAC About The Health Care Reform Law

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke for over twenty minutes about the Affordable Care Act, unleashing a flurry of misleading statements and outright lies about the impact and implementation of the health care reform law.

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February 11, 2011 2:57 pm ET

Rep. Ryan Falsely Claims CBO Director Testified That Health Care Law 'Destroys Jobs'

After the CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified at the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) posted a tweet saying, "President's health care law will destroy jobs, says CBO." But Rep. Ryan is misrepresenting Elmendorf's testimony, which aligns with an August CBO report saying that there will be a reduction in the supply of labor due to workers voluntarily leaving the workforce — not a reduction in the supply of jobs. The tired Republican talking point that the health care reform law destroys or kills jobs has been repeatedly shown to be false.

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February 03, 2011 11:19 am ET

Experts Tear Down Judge Vinson's Activist Health Care Ruling

In the wake of Judge Roger Vinson's decision striking down the Affordable Care Act, legal scholars and policy experts from across the political spectrum have dissected the ruling — and rejected it wholesale. Both conservative and liberal legal experts find Vinson's interpretation of the Constitution and disregard for precedent unconvincing, while wonks hear echoes of Bush v. Gore in his 'just-this-once tone,' and see Vinson's GOP background in his unabashed shout-outs to the Tea Party and right-wing Family Research Council.

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February 02, 2011 2:02 pm ET

Sen. Kyl Blames Arizona's Transplant Cuts  On "Rationing That's Required By ObamaCare"

Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) erroneously claimed that Gov. Jan Brewer's decision to cut Medicaid funding for certain kinds of transplant surgeries was somehow related to the Affordable Care Act, and went so far as to say that it's "a kind of rationing that's required by ObamaCare."  But in fact, Gov. Brewer announced her plans to 'roll back' Medicaid coverage in her State of the State address in January 2010, well before the Affordable Care Act was even signed into law.

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January 31, 2011 3:48 pm ET

The Consequences Of Repealing The Affordable Care Act In Florida

Although Judge Vinson's decision striking down the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act is a boost to the GOP repeal effort, it's bad news for Americans struggling to afford quality insurance. If upheld by higher courts, Judge Vinson's decision would negatively affect millions of individuals in Florida alone.

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January 31, 2011 10:13 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 30, 2011

With the eyes of the world on Egypt, the political talk shows on Sunday still found time to let the Republican leaders in Congress recite dishonest talking points about domestic policy. On NBC's Meet the Press, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared that President Obama's economic philosophy "doesn't work," even after 12 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, and repeated the false claim that the Affordable Care Act cuts $500 billion from Medicare. On Fox News Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) described the Affordable Care Act as "job killing," despite the fact that nonpartisan experts disagree, and falsely stated that repealing the law would save money.  

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January 28, 2011 1:27 pm ET

American Future Fund Parties Like It's 2010 In A New Attack On Sen. Nelson

In an effort to turn up the heat on moderate Democrats to push health care repeal in the Senate, the American Future Fund (AFF) has put out via a new radio ad against Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). In the ad, the AFF regurgitates lies straight from the 2010 elections while simultaneously citing the "non-partisan CBO" and ignoring the CBO's finding that the Affordable Care Act will lower the deficit.

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January 25, 2011 11:53 am ET

Sen. Barrasso: The Affordable Care Act Takes $500 Billion From Medicare And Seniors

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) told Neil Cavuto that the Affordable Care Act takes $500 billion from Medicare and seniors to create a new entitlement program. Not only is Barrasso misleading viewers about the changes to Medicare — the $500 billion actually comes from savings from phasing out Medicare Advantage — he asserts that Republicans will protect Medicare despite his party's long record of supporting cuts to the program.

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January 24, 2011 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 23, 2011

On the Sunday shows, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) showed why they hold leadership roles in the modern GOP: they are maestros of misinformation. Appearing on Fox News, McConnell dissembled about everything from corporate taxes to the Recovery Act. He even suggested that the private sector isn't growing right now (although 1.3 million new jobs in the past year make the claim laughable) and claimed that "nobody's talking about" voting against the debt ceiling, despite well over a dozen prominent Republicans who are on record opposing the debt vote. For his part, Cantor told NBC viewers that the entitlement program cuts in Rep. Paul Ryan's "Roadmap" are not "draconian," but the reality is that Ryan's plan would effectively dismantle the social safety net provided by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Later on Meet the Press, former Bush adviser Karen Hughes told a whopper about job losses during President Obama's tenure.

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January 21, 2011 4:18 pm ET

GOP Distorts HHS Waiver Program During Repeal Debate

During the health care repeal debate on the House floor, several congressmen cited the HHS waiver program as a reason to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Many of the congressmen claimed that it only protects the "politically connected" and President Obama's friends. This unsubstantiated claim distorts the real truth: that many small businesses will benefit from the temporary waiver program and that the program is open to more than just the "politically connected." In addition, the waiver program is a temporary fix until 2014, when the expansion of PPACA will provide coverage to those who would have trouble receiving health care coverage due to their type of employment. If Republicans successfully repeal PPACA, they would put over 1 million people who would have received waivers at risk of losing their health insurance.

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January 19, 2011 4:11 pm ET

Rep. Whitfield Falsely Claims Insurance Companies Supported The Affordable Care Act

Rep. Ed Whitfield, (R-KY) speaking on the House floor this afternoon, claimed Republicans couldn't be accused of representing the interests of insurance companies because insurance companies supported The Affordable Care Act. In reality, insurance companies funneled nearly $100 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in order to "drum up opposition" to health care reform through a massive lobbying and advertising campaign.

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January 19, 2011 12:25 pm ET

Debunking The Republican Claim That Health Care Reform Adds "$701 Billion" To The Debt

At the outset of the floor debate on the GOP's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) laid out the Republican case that Democrats bamboozled the CBO with "smoke and mirrors," and the reform package actually "has a $701 billion deficit." Ryan claimed the CBO score relies on 'double-counting' of savings to Medicare and some tax revenue, but that is provably false — and Ryan himself admitted last year that the CBO doesn't double-count. Ryan also revived the claim that "$115 billion in new appropriations" for the bill "wasn't counted." But that $115 billion is not "new" spending, it's not mandatory under the bill, and $86 billion of it was counted by the CBO. Finally, Ryan argued that "the doctor fix" adds another $208 billion to the debt, but the "doc fix" is only necessary because the GOP screwed up the formulas for Medicare reimbursement back in 1997. The "doc fix" is a separate legislative issue — and a separate budget item — from the Affordable Care Act.

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January 18, 2011 5:16 pm ET

Rep. Gingrey Grossly Overstates Public Support For GOP Position On Health Care

This morning on Fox News, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) tried to manipulate data from a Rasmussen poll to say that 75 percent of Americans support health care repeal or support congressional action to "gut as much as we can" from the law. Yet as he twisted the numbers, a screenshot of the poll showed that only 20 percent of Americans fully support health care reform repeal. Recent polls have consistently found the public closely divided on health care reform — and no poll shows the kind of strong support for the GOP position that Gingrey imagines.

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