Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

February 22, 2014

Fact Check: Obamacare attack ad revives talking points

A new ad from national Republicans in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young features something old, something new, something borrowed, but not much that is true.

The National Republican Congressional Committee unveiled the television ad Wednesday - a 30-second attack on Democrat Alex Sink’s support of President Barack Obama’s signature health law.

“Alex Sink’s loyalty is to them not, Florida. Why else would she continue to support Obamacare?” the ad says, while flashing a picture of Sink, Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “Three hundred thousand Floridians will lose their current health plans, $700 billion cut from medicare for seniors. And now nonpartisan government analysts say Obamacare will cost our economy up to 2.5 million jobs.”

Sink, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer from 2007 to 2011, is facing Republican David Jolly, a former lobbyist and aide to Young. The special election is slated for March 11. Sink has said she supports the law and wants to see it improved; Jolly opposes it.

We checked all three claims about the law made by the NRCC in the ad.

n The first claim, about 300,000 Floridians losing insurance, is “borrowed” from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who said in October that “300,000 people are going to lose their individual coverage because of Obamacare. Now those people next year, they don’t have health insurance.”

We gave it a Mostly False. The NRCC, however, is a little more careful with their wording. They instead say 300,000 Floridians will lose their “current health plans,” and they don’t falsely claim that those individuals will be without insurance next year (it’s illegal and there’s a penalty for not having insurance). But there’s still quite a bit of context missing.

The number 300,000 refers to the number of policyholders Florida Blue identified as having plans that did not meet the minimum coverage standards in the Affordable Care Act and would be canceled.

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