AFP’s Obamacare Ad Shredded By 9NEWS Truth Test

9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman fact-checks the new Americans for Prosperity TV spot saturating media markets throughout the state, in an able Truth Test that would make his predecessor Adam Schrager proud:

If you've watched any TV recently, you've probably seen a conservative group's million-dollar ad buy that started this week, aimed at stirring up anger over Obamacare…

The same actress saying this line appeared in nearly identical ads last fall, targeting several other members of Congress.

Rittiman shows viewers, as the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels first reported this week, how the ad is a near-duplicate of AFP ads running in other states. This has the effect of rendering the actress' statement that "people don't like political ads, and I don't either" into more of a punchline. Rittiman then debunks in detail the claims made in this ad–claims that in turn underpin much of the GOP's message against the Affordable Care Act. For example, there is the claim that "millions of people have lost their health insurance."

It's true that millions of people with individual coverage got cancellation notices because their old plans didn't meet the standards of Obamacare…but getting one of these notices is not the same thing as losing insurance. [Pols emphasis]

By federal law, when they cancel a plan, insurance companies have to offer you an alternate plan if they want to stay in business…this ad is trying to make you believe that all those people just became uninsured, which is just not the case. [Pols emphasis]

It's a point we've made over and over in this space, and we're happy to see it being called out by the media as deceptive. In fact, over 90% of policyholders who received "cancellation notices" in Colorado also got notice that they could renew their policies. Many others have signed up via the insurance exchange. It's just not true that these hundreds of thousands of people were left without insurance by the Affordable Care Act. And then there's the vague but alarming charge from AFP's actress, "millions are paying more and getting less."

VERDICT: Misleading

As a case against the healthcare law, this is misleading for a few reasons.

First of all, people are by and large getting more in their plans, not less… [Pols emphasis]

With an emotional case against "Obamacare" playing a central role in Republican message strategy this year, including in the high-profile U.S. Senate race here in Colorado, debunking these frequently-heard claims is a major win for Democrats. If Democrats are smart–and not just in Colorado–Brandon Rittiman's fact check of AFP's cookie-cutter ad, or at least the bits that matter, will be seen by lots of voters.

44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    At what point do TV stations stop running stuff from an organization that is proven to lie over and over again? If GM ran an ad saying the Cobalt could get 100 MPG, the ad wouldn't run.

  2. DawnPatrol says:

    The shamelesss, amoral party of lies, skewered yet again.

    How much longer will the electorate put up with the endless GOP lies?


  3. itlduso says:

    Arthur Kane Strikes Again!

    Albeit it was yesterday, but he got another front page, above the fold headline trashing Obamacare in the Denver Post.  This time it was the "shocking" claim that the state health exchange employees are paid more than those in three other states.  OMG!

    Another trash article from this "Special to the Denver Post" author, not reporter.  The money quote was from Linda Gorman of the Independence (not Independent) Institute who said, "This is a bunch of people really responsible for nothing other than getting government grants."  What a bunch of crap.

    It's going to take a ton of media attention like the Channel 9 report to even begin to counter the lies and hyperbole spread about the ACA.


  4. DawnPatrol says:

    "But-but-but…librul media! Benghazi! Udallcare! Keep your old plan! Crimea! IRS! Soros! Solyndra!"

    There, rightie bagger trolls. Thought I'd save you the trouble of "defending" the indefensible.

  5. davebarnes says:

    The TRUTH does NOT matter.
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

    PERCEPTION matters. The scumballs are winning because the proponents of Obamacare are not fighting back.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:


      Four years ago, look at all the ads labeled as misleading put out by Bennet. There were lots of them.  He won.

      If this goes on for 2-3 months unopposed Udall can have all the ads labeled misleading he wants.  He will lose.

      This is how the game is played.

      • horseshit GOP front group says:

        Pointing out Ken Bucks position on abortion was "misleading".  If that is the case look for a lot of "misleading" ads on Cory Garder's record.

        Too early to play the victim card ?

      • roccoprahn says:

        What you've done, you dolt, is admit the ad is bullshit. You're in affect saying that you actually don't care that you're lying about the ACA, that you're just another redleg troll with zero credibility. 

        Read your post, you idiot, that's what you've done to yourself. 

        And WTF, the "greeley gazette"!!!!!!!! Are you fucking kidding me?

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Interesting on how wannabe rich boy skates around the lying ads by doing the ole false equivalency over 2010 ads.

        Hey Mr. Carneige if you are so righteous and holy how come you advocate  "Bearing False Witness" with phony actors spouting lies.  I didn't think that pure people like you were so enthusiastic about breaking one of the Ten Commandments.  Oh that's right.  You aren't a real spiritual person.  You're just another Phairisee standing on the street corner proclaiming your moral superiority at the top of your lungs.  Being an advocate for The Truth?  Not so much you phony fraud.

  6. nancycronk says:

    It is full of lies, but it is an effective ad. The GOP has never let truth get in their way from getting what they want.

  7. ElliotFladen says:

    To the argument that people are getting more from their new plan:

    I'm sure all those single college age males and same-sex male couples are LOVING the mandatory maternity coverage!  After all – its MORE! Yay!


    • bullshit! says:

      Jesus man, is there a SINGLE piece of right wing bullshit that you don't buy hook line and sinker? I can't believe you're a lawyer sometimes.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Being a lawyer isn't all that much different from being a shill (ala AC), they're both pretty much paid to believe what they're told/sold . . . 

        • Duke Cox says:

          And don't forget…the truth is held in high esteem (generally) by neither politicians or lawyers. You could almost say that most politicians are lawyers and all lawyers are politicians.

        • BlueCat says:

          Must respectfully object to the blanket lawyer bashing. There are lawyers dedicated to defending our rights, helping immigrants, clearing the innocent with new DNA evidence and other good stuff. I personally know some lawyers who are really good people doing really really good things. That Fladen is such an unimpressive, often really silly sounding, example doesn't negate the good that many lawyers do. Just sayin'.

          • Duke Cox says:

            But..but…C'mon BC ..Lawyer bashing is fun!

            Seriously. There are a number of lawyers I know (and I know lots of them) who are, as you say, forthright and honest people trying to do good work. Some, like the "Tres Miguelitos", who continually beat up on the oil and gas lobby, are heroes of mine. I have a number of attorneys who are good friends and have even considered going back to school to get a law degree myself….And then there are the Rick Wagners of the world.

            Question…Do you know what you call it when a bus full of lawyers goes over a cliff?  ….a good start.

            Second Question…Do you know what you call it when a bus full of lawyers goes over a cliff, with one seat empty?   …a damned shame.


    • PERA hopeful says:

      I'm a 60-year-old woman with normal blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.  Why should I have to pay for maternity benefits, prostate exams, penis pumps, other people's statin drugs, Tay Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, circumcisionns, and other medical procedures I (think) I will never need?  Maybe because IT'S FUCKING INSURANCE, and I'm not mad about it because I UNDERSTAND THE WAY INSURANCE WORKS, for God's sake.

  8. Not Dame Edna says:

    This story is preaching to the choir. Unless Democrats hit back with truth to counter the lies and then hit back again with more truth about how uninformed votes are bought the Koch's money, then they might just win. Wake Up Democrats and fight back!

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