PolitiFact has a pretty terrible and rather partisan history of Obamacare fact checks. However, there's one, in particular, about Obamacare that remains especially puzzling. It's the "half-true" rating the organization gave when President Obama promised that, If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance under Obamacare. This was not a casually tossed-off statement by the president, either. It was made repeatedly and quite deliberately in an attempt to sell America on Obamacare.
And yet, in 2009 PolitiFact rated Obama's statement "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" as "half true." And last year, PolitiFact rated the statement, "If you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance," as "half true" again.
Now PolitiFact explains the rationale for their rulings in both cases, but I suspect it won't do much to persuade anyone. The first ruling even explicitly states, "Barack Obama promises you can keep your health insurance, but there's no guarantee." If they're acknowledging that's the case, how can PolitiFact say it's even partially true? The president's promise was an absolute promise. If even a few Americans were losing their insurance -- let alone 16 million -- it would be untrue.
Interestingly enough, PolitiFact rated Mitt Romney "False" last year for the statement "Obamacare … means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep." PolitiFact dinged Romney, perhaps fairly, for the suggestion that everyone losing their insurance would want to keep it. Still, a generous reading would allow that the vast majority of people in the individual insurance market are probably not grateful Obamacare is doing away with many affordable insurance options. And based on what we know now about people losing their insurance due to Obamacare, Romney's statement about "up to 20 million" losing their health insurance is certainly much closer to being "half-true" than "if you like your health insurance you can keep it."
PolitiFact's "half-true" ratings of Obama's promise that Americans could keep their health insurance under Obamacare were indefensible at the time they were made. And in light of what we know now about millions of Americans losing their health insurance, these ratings should be a four-alarm trouser conflagration. Yet, PolitiFact hasn't updated their rulings to acknowledge that the president's repeated promise is demonstrably untrue. Updating and correcting your stories when new facts emerge that contradict your reporting -- and that word should be used very loosely here, given PolitiFact's shoddy and partisan track-record -- is the bare minimum one can expect of responsible journalists. PolitiFact pretends to sit in judgment of other journalists, yet they've proven again and again that they themselves do not abide by basic standards of journalism.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum spoke Thursday at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington about the failure of the Republican party and its presidential nominee to speak to the concerns of middle class and working people. Politico's James Hohmann reports:
Mitt Romney expressed regret at not being the next president of the United States in a speech today at CPAC:
"Each of us in our own way is going to have to step up and meet our responsibility. I'm sorry I won't be your president," said Romney. "But I will be your co-worker and I will stand shoulder to shoulder alongside you."
When Chris Wallace asked Mitt Romney on Fox News Sunday why he lost the election, one of the reasons Romney gave was, “Obamacare was very attractive, particularly [for] those without health insurance, and they came out in large numbers to vote, so that was part of a successful campaign.” Like much of the Republican response to the 2012 election, this is exactly the opposite conclusion from that which should be drawn.
As we survey the political wreckage of 2012, it’s worth highlighting once again that Republicans lost the presidential election for two main reasons: They failed to get their best candidates to run, and their eventual nominee failed to make the case to voters. The result was a relatively lopsided defeat. In fact, if Mitt Romney had managed to swing the margin by 5 points in his direction in each and every state, he still would have lost (272 electoral votes to 266).