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Posted by on Sep 10, 2009 in Health, Politics | 21 comments

Obama vs. Joe Wilson on the Truth-o-Meter

Joe G. noted earlier that Joe Wilson scored very poorly on Politifact’s Truth-o-meter. Since that post, there have been five more targeting Rep. Wilson, including Kathy’s moderately titled, Is there a politician lower than Joe Wilson?

I’m guessing Kathy has heard of Charlie Rangel.

Anyhow, I’m not here to defend Joe Wilson, who most people never heard of until yesterday. I’m here to look at how President Obama scores on the Truth-o-Meter. After last night’s speech, Politifact awarded President Obama a Barely True for pretending that Democratic reform bills actually incorporated Republican ideas. In fact, Democrats accepted some technical amendments from the GOP.

Politifact also awarded the President a flat-out False for saying that preventive care “saves money”.

In a very generous ruling, Politifact awarded Obama a True for saying

Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.

But that’s just some tricky wordplay, since the real issue is whether government incentives will lead your employer to take away your coverage. That’s why, less than a month ago, Politifact awarded the President a Half-true for insisting for the umpteenth time that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

America is deciding right now whether reform its entire healthcare system, which accounts for roughly one-eighth of the entire economy. So what’s more important? Whether an obscure congressman bends the truth, or whether the President of the United States bends it again and again?

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly