I enjoy reading Politifact. It’s run from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and appears to take a completely non-partisan approach to fact-checking.
So, keeping on the subject at hand, here’s Politifact’s check on a huge anti-health reform email that’s been circulating:
It may be the longest chain e-mail we’ve ever received. A page-by-page analysis of the House health care bill argues that reform will end the health care system as we know it: “Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed! … Page 42: The ‘Health Choices Commissioner’ will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. … Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.”
Most of what the e-mail says is wrong. In fact, it’s a clearinghouse of bad information circulating around the Web about proposed health care changes, so we thought it would be helpful to address a bunch of its claims.
To check this e-mail, we read the health care bill ourselves. Yes, it’s over 1,000 pages long, but that’s not as long as you might think: The document has large margins, so the text only takes up about one third of each page.
We also read the bill’s legislative summary, a report published by the House that explains the bill in greater detail.
Finally, we consulted with Jennifer Tolbert, an independent health care analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan foundation that studies health care reform. Tolbert has read and analyzed all the major health proposals, including those of the Republicans, and the foundation provides point-by-point analyses of the plans on its Web site.
We’re hardened, battle-scarred fact-checkers, so false claims in e-mails don’t really surprise us anymore. But we sent Tolbert a copy of the latest from our in-box, and she was none too pleased.
“It’s awful,” she said. “It’s flat-out, blatant lies. It’s unbelievable to me how they can claim to reference the legislation and then make claims that are blatantly false.”
Please read the entire article. Also, consult the Kaiser Family Foundation’s comparison page on the various proposals. It’s quite helpful to see who is proposing what and comparing their differences.