Avik Roy writes on how Politifact’s assessment of the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise went from 100% true to half-true to a “pants on fire” lie to the “lie of the year.” The column is fairly devastating by itself, but then Politifact’s Angie Holan, who authored some of the relevant evaluations, tried to defend Politifact with a tweet:
@avik The ’08 rating was for a campaign proposal with NO mandate. Very different set of facts than later ruling.
— Angie Drobnic Holan (@AngieHolan) December 27, 2013
The mind reels. Then-Senator Obama’s 2008 health care plan had numerous elements that were sure to disrupt health insurance markets, as Roy noted in the column. (If, on the other hand, Politifact wants to argue that the initial promise was “true” because it represented then-candidate Obama’s honest intent in 2008, then there was no point in fact-checking it at all.) More importantly, insofar as one wants to argue that the 2008 plan and the PPACA are sufficiently different to justify different assessments of the claim, the individual mandate is largely irrelevant — and this is the first time someone from Politifact has tried to suggest otherwise. (For instance, there’s no mention of the mandate in Ms. Holan’s “Lie of the Year” post.) The individual mandate is not what is causing individuals to lose their health insurance. If anything, it has the opposite effect by reducing the effect of other PPACA requirements. It’s as if Politifact “fact-checkers” don’t know very much about the subjects of their “fact checks.”
If any further proof were needed of the absurdity of our self-appointed political “fact-checkers” this is it.