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March 20, 2014 03:19 PM UTC

Politifact: AFP Anti-Udall Obamacare Ad Rates "False"

  • by: Colorado Pols


As posted today by leading national fact-checking site Politifact, operated by the Tampa Bay Times:

"People don’t like political ads. I don’t like them either. But health care isn’t about politics," she says. "It’s about people. And millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less."

We’ve tackled claims about lost insurance and access to personal doctors before. But we haven’t heard someone say that the health care law is causing people to pay more for less, so we decided to check it out.

Politifact says that the first two claims in Americans For Prosperity's TV spot running in Colorado against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall–that "millions of people have lost their health insurance" and that "millions of people can’t see their own doctors" as "False" and "Mostly False" respectively, based on equivalent statements made by GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Marco Rubio. But the third claim made by this ad, that "millions are paying more and getting less," was sufficiently unexplored that Politifact made a deep dive. And the verdict:

Other than a sharp increase between 2010 to 2011, the Obama years have experienced the smallest rate increases of the last 14 years. [Pols emphasis] Throughout much of the early 2000s, premium increases of 9 percent or more were the norm.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid also found a slowdown in the increase in health costs during the last four years, including a modest 4 percent increase from 2011 to 2012…

Americans for Prosperity said "millions are paying more and getting less" under Obamacare. We found their explanation of "less" rather dubious. Most people on the individual market are getting more benefits under the law. At worst, they’re paying more to get more, though in many cases they’re actually paying less.

We rate this claim False.

By thoroughly exploring this key claim in AFP's new ad, and rating it unequivocally false–along with the other claims in the ad already rated either false or mostly so–Politifact goes even farther than 9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman, whose solid debunking of this ad has given Democrats another tool to fight back against AFP's enormous ad buy. There's no equivalent in federal law to Colorado's law outlawing false political advertising, and we haven't heard a legal opinion as to whether or not this ad could be pulled down under Colorado's law. But if there's anybody out there who has seen this ad saturating Colorado media markets–which is everybody–and hasn't learned that it's been totally discredited–which is almost everybody–Democrats need to get the facts out.

Because Americans For Prosperity is counting on the voters never getting the facts.


37 thoughts on “Politifact: AFP Anti-Udall Obamacare Ad Rates “False”

      1. The question is, when did facts become a concern of Politifact?

        A leading media fact-checking organization rates Republicans as less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. The study finds that has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims during President Obama’s second term. Republicans continue to get worse marks in recent weeks, despite controversies over Obama administration statements on Benghazi, the IRS and the AP.

        According to CMPA President Dr Robert Lichter, “While Republicans see a credibility gap in the Obama administration, PolitiFact rates Republicans as the less credible party.”

        The study examined 100 statements involving factual claims by Democrats (46 claims) and Republicans (54 claims), which were fact-checked by during the four month period from the start of President Obama’s second term on January 20 through May 22, 2013.

        Major findings:

        PolitiFact rated 32% of Republican claims as “false” or “pants on fire,” compared to 11% of Democratic claims – a 3 to 1 margin. Conversely, Politifact rated 22% of Democratic claims as “entirely true” compared to 11% of Republican claims – a 2 to 1 margin.

        A majority of Democratic statements (54%) were rated as mostly or entirely true, compared to only 18% of Republican statements. Conversely, a majority of Republican statements (52%) were rated as mostly or entirely false, compared to only 24% of Democratic statements.

        Despite controversies over Obama administration statements regarding Benghazi, the IRS and the Associated Press, Republicans have continued to fare worse than Democrats, with 60% of their claims rated as false so far this month (May 1 – May 22), compared to 29% of Democratic statements – a 2 to 1 margin.

        This study’s findings are similar to those of a previous CMPA study, which found that PolitiFact gave more negative ratings to the Romney campaign than the Obama campaign during the 2012 presidential election campaign.

        1. The study you cite never claimed any bias on Politifact's part, it just added up the numbers.  So yes, either Politifact is biased or Republicans lie their asses off.

          1. And that pointing out their essential mendacity is proof of the mendacity of the Democrats just like pointing out their institutional and inherent racism is proof of racism on their opponents part.Cons live in their own parallel,alternate universe.

        2. Politifacts rates Republicans as untruthful more often because they are. This isn't bias, it's truth. And just because you don't like the truth doesn't mean the source is biased. It just means that your side is more likely to be called out for untruthfulness because they are. Liars that is. 


        3. Three options as a framework for interpreting these data:

          A) These findings represent reality.

          It supports the claim that Republicans are untethered to the truth when seeking to advance their political agenda, or, as a wise conservative once said: "reality has a well-known liberal bias." The Center for Media and Public Affairs offers no evidence that Politifact is wrong in these assesments.

          B) The Center for Media and Public Affairs is a right-wing funded hit-source. 

          C)  A and B.

          I vote for C.

            1. That was weird, but we used the little blue eraser button ("remove format") on your text to set things right. We encourage liberal use of this button.

      2. There are winners and losers, liars and cheaters moderatus. Not everyone can be a winner. That's America. We cannot handout a trophy to everyone, "just for playing." 

        FACT: Republicans have lied more than Democrats. Thanks for sharing the data showing such. 

  1. Wait a minute — does this mean that self-absorbed, fascist billionaires would lie to us?  And pay thousands of toadies to back them up?

    AC, Moddy! Help me out here!  You don't get paid to lie do you?  You do it for free, right?

  2. Guys worrying about fact checking Ads means you are playing defense and losing.

    If the ad is effective, that is the fact that needs to be checked.

    It is checked by the other side running an Ad.

    If the Ad is running and an ad to the contrary is not, the Ad is unchecked.

    In advertising, worrying about truth is for losers.  It is all about being effective.

    If it is about the truth, nobody lost their healthcare plan, everybody kept their doctor and the new plan with more coverage cost $2,500 less.  Those were all lies and known to be lies, but effective because there are a lot of idiots who vote.

    1. "Worrying about truth is for losers."

      Wow, Andrew. You sure said it. You realize that is going to be used against you every time you open your mouth, right?

      1. Like I said before…Trollboy isn't smart enough to keep the truth out of his narrative. His cause does not benefit from the unvarnished truth.

      2. What AC is saying here is twofold. An admission that his side lies effectively and an observation that Dems simply whining that about the right's effective lying isn't a successful strategy.  He is correct on both counts. 

        The right's message is composed of lying through their teeth confidently and aggressively and Dems don't yet appear to have the balls to be just as aggressive in putting out their factually accurate message. What difference does it make if AC's teams lies and AC personally has no credibility here? It's just a blog.

        AC and friends are perfectly fine with being lying sleazebags as long as it gets them enough votes. The majority of voters will believe the side that speaks the loudest, the most often with the most self assurance. Dems have a very short window now for manning up and fighting to be the winning side in that contest.

        1. It is not a question of balls, OK maybe that has something to do with it, it is also a question of money.  It seems the Dem big money is worried about whether you are ready for Hillary in 2016, while the Republican big money is all in on Obamacare and the Senate races in 2014.

          1. So still in perfect agreement about your lying. Well at least you're honest about something. And I've got to say, someone happy to admit being a lying sack of shit shill for a lying sack of shit party does command a certain amount of admiration for sheer chutzbah. I prefer it to those who, like poor Fladen, are so conflicted on the whole lying sack of shit strategy. wink

            1. I don't think is conflicted about the lying sack of shit strategy as much as he's concerned about how to defend it without any of the shit sticking to him. 

              1. I think Fladen really, really wants to be able to think of himself as the guy in the white head but he's chosen bed fellows that make that impossible without a lot of denial and pathetic attempts at clever parsing. AC doesn't care about that white hat stuff. At least he's comfortable in his own sleazy skin.

    2. There are a lot of idiots who vote.True, and the majority of those are conservatives or those unfortunate folks who've bought the conservative line. Although I guess they'd be the definitive case of idiocy.

    3. Wow…lies and the lying liars who tell them indeed. Quite (yet another) shocking admission there, AC. At least you get points for candor.

      However, having admitted to being being an inveterate, shameless liar, and working for /shilling for / supporting an entire political party of habitual liars — as you yourself have admitted you and your party are — you do realize that, if as your Christianist party tells us continually, there is an angry, vengeful, judgmental God prepared to rain down unholy hell on the infidels for failing to toe the line,  you and everyone in your party is going straight to hell when you die. Why? Because not only do you lie constantly and brazenly, YOU DO SO TO HURT THE VERY PEOPLE JESUS INSTRUCTED ALL OF US TO LOVE AND HELP, AND YOU DO SO FOR PERSONAL GAIN, BASED ON SELISHNESS, HATE FOR YOUR FELLOW (WO)MAN, AND UNADULTERATED GREED.

      The karnmic backlash for such evildoers — who intentionallly and pointedly commit such evil with malice aforethought — will be fearsome. Whatever God you pray to or deity you worship. you are in for a very ugly ride.


      1. And since all evil is transitory, know deep in your callous, shriveled heart that, sooner or later, as inevitable as the sunrise, we WILL beat you evildoers once and for all, decisively and permanently, and that evertyhing evil that you worship and stand for will be no more. It cannot be otherwise.

        I call your party amoral for a very accurate, truthful reason. You have no honor, no ethicals, no morals, no decency. Enjoy your fleeting moment of darkness. It's dying as I type.


  3. "Hi, I'm so obviously a paid actor, but we won't get into why they had to quit using real people in their dark money smear ads paid for by very narrow and selfish interests.  

    "Anyhow, look at my honest and assuming nature, face, body language.  I'm like all you other people out there, we know because we've done the polling.  

    "So let me say some words to you: 'people' that always focus-groups well and 'politics,' yuck!  People hate it consistently, across the board.  So… 'People NOT politics' that's what it’s about.  A small number of very very very rich people.  So rich you all cannot even imagine how very rich they are.  The bottom line is workers cost money, cleaning up your mess costs money, and paying to help sick people costs money. Costing money makes these very very very rich–oh so rich!–people sad. It's the worsest thing ever.  

    "We can all agree that being sad is not nice.  So they bought earnest looking actors such as myself to appeal to you–we need someone like [not Mark Udall] in office.  So just get back to work no–Shouldn't you be counting some of our beans or something?"

    1. Well using real people whose stories never stood up to fact checking was getting tiresome but, unfortunately, until the Dems start running their own aggressive ads countering the lies with truth, whether those lies are being put in the mouths of sympathetic real sick people or paid actors, the lies will stand. Defensive fact checking won't be enough without aggressive truth spreading.  Having the facts on their side won't help Dems a bit unless they grow a  pair. STAT.

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