The Washington Post

The most popular fact checks of February (Obamacare and the Clintons dominate the list)


(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Fact checks about the Affordable Care Act continue to dominate our monthly roundup of the most widely read fact checks, but two columns about former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also made it into the top five. That suggests there is still intense interest in the once and possibly future president.

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

1: No, CBO did not say Obamacare will kill 2 million jobs

This column helped explain a complex finding in a Congressional Budget Office report that the health-care law, over time, will shrink the workforce by the equivalent of 2 million full-time workers. This was a huge increase from a previous estimate , but it was widely misinterpreted by both the news media and Republican operatives. Some jobs will go away, but the actual number is unclear because of the unknown interaction between part-time and full-time work. Analysts can make a credible case that this is still a negative — just as advocates for the law can claim the law gives people the option not to work.


 

 

 2: A hard-hitting anti-Obamacare ad makes a claim that doesn’t add up

This was one of a series of columns that looked at the claims in ads sponsored by the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity. All of them had various issues in terms of facts and context. In this case, Michigan resident Julia Boonstra left the impression that she lost her doctor when her insurance was canceled (she did not) and claimed that her new insurance left her with “unaffordable” out-of-pocket costs. But she did not say that her premium was cut in half — and that savings from that would cover her out-of-pocket expenses.


 

 

3: Issa’s ‘suspicions’ that Hillary Clinton told Panetta to ‘stand down’ on Benghazi

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, earned Four Pinocchios for claiming that then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ordered Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to “stand down” his troops and not try to rescue Americans during a 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Every congressional report, including by House Republicans, has debunked claims of a “stand-down” order.


 

 

4: Obama’s claim that 7 million got ‘access to health care for the first time’ because of his Medicaid expansion

The president erred badly in claiming that 7 million people had received access to health care for the first time because of the health law’s expansion of Medicaid. The administration’s Medicaid figures are complex and obscure, but no matter how you slice it, there is no way someone can claim that all 7 million on the list are getting health care for the first time. Many people simply reenlisted in the program.  Analysts aren’t sure but believe the real number of people getting health care for the first time, because of the expansion of the law, ranges between 1.1 million and 3.3 million people.


 

 

5: Paul’s claim that ‘at least half a dozen’ women called Clinton a ‘sexual predator’

This was a controversial column, as some readers believed The Fact Checker took too narrow a view of the term “sexual predator” (we used the dictionary definition). In any case, we concluded that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) fell short because we only found three accusations that would fit that definition. But we also found plenty of evidence of documented consensual relationships involving former president Bill Clinton.


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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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