The most popular fact checks of January (It’s still almost all about Obamacare)


(Jon Elswick/AP)

Fact checks about the Affordable Care Act continue to dominate our monthly roundup of the most widely read fact checks. In fact, the only non-Obamacare fact check to make it in our top five list (on the Keystone XL pipeline) just narrowly beat out yet another health-care fact check.

In compiling this list, we focused on full fact checks of specific claims. Otherwise, The Fact Checker’s round-up of claims made by President Obama in the State of the Union address would have easily topped the list.

Click on the headline if you want to read the full column.

 

1: How did Rand Paul’s son end up on Medicaid?

This column examined Sen. Rand Paul’s story about how his oldest son tried to get health insurance via the Kentucky version of Obamacare, and ended up on Medicaid, the federal-state health-care program for the poor. We initially rated this with a “verdict pending,” but after receiving screen grabs from the Kentucky insurance exchange, we concluded there were too many holes in Kentucky Republican’s recounting and awarded him Two Pinocchios.


 

 

 

2: The GOP claim that more Americans have lost insurance than gained it under Obamacare

Republicans have pushed the line that more people have “lost” health insurance or have “canceled plans” than who have gained it through the Affordable Care Act. But the accuracy of the claim depends on what you count, how you count it and how carefully the attack line is phrased.


 

 

 

3: Ignore claims that 3.9 million people signed up for Medicaid because of Obamacare

In this column, we took Obama administration to task for highlighting a misleading figure about the number of Medicaid sign-ups under the ACA — and also reporters (and The Fact Checker) for repeating it. The number actually does not reveal the impact of the ACA expansion of Medicaid, and it should be used with caution.


 

 

4: Harry Reid’s claim that under Obamacare 9 million people ‘have health care that didn’t have it before’

We examined the Senate majority leader’s math regarding the newly insured and found it wanting. A key element in his calculation was the Medicaid figure mentioned above, which turned out to be misleading. He also included in his count people, such as himself, who joined the exchanges but had previously been insured.


 

 

 

5: Four Pinocchios for an over-the-top ad attacking the Keystone XL pipeline

A hard-hitting ad from climate activist Tom Steyer opposing the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline went way too far, offering misleading claims about Chinese investments in the Canadian oil sands and putting words in the mouth of a TransCanada executive.


 

 

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Glenn Kessler has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He would like your help in keeping an eye on public figures. Send him statements to fact check by emailing him, tweeting at him, or sending him a message on Facebook.
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