Monday, October 15, 2018

Fact Check: Trump wrong about 'Medicare for all,' school violence funding; ad criticizing Tenn. Republican spins facts

Here's another installment of a series we are running weekly until Election Day, in which we list some of the most relevant items from and other nonpartisan fact checkers. We encourage you to subscribe to their alerts, which you can do here, and republish their findings, which FactCheck lets anyone do for free with credit to them.

In President Trump's Oct. 10 op-ed for USA Today about 'Medicare for all' proposals, "almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood," Glenn Kessler writes for The Washington Post's Fact Checker column. Kessler presumes the president must know that most of his claims have already been debunked by Fact Checker, since Trump links to two of them in his op-ed, but chose to ignore the facts. Trump is correct that the plan promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would cost the federal government $32.6 trillion over 10 years, but doesn't mention that overall national health expenditures might not increase because costs for individuals and state governments would go down. Kessler does a point-by-point debunking of Trump's claims in the op-ed; it's too long for us to detail here, but well worth the read. Read more here.

A TV ad criticizing Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., spins the facts about her votes on health-care issues, Lori Roberts reports for Majority Forward, an organization affiliated with the Democratic super PAC Senate Majority, launched the ad in early October to help Blackburn's Democratic challenger, former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen. The ad claims Blackburn voted in 2012 to "give members of Congress health care for life," but lawmakers had already received a health insurance retirement benefit. "There was a possibility at the time that lawmakers could have lost the benefit, but that never happened," Roberts reports. The ad also says she voted in 2017 to take away maternity coverage, but that's not necessarily true. Her vote to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would have meant that some states would no longer require insurers to offer maternity coverage, but insurers could still keep that coverage. Similar claims are likely being made against other Republican House members.

At an event for law enforcement officials, Trump said his administration's STOP School Violence Act had provided "historic levels of funding to improve school safety" and "hire more officers." But this is untrue, because the new law doesn't fund school safety at "historic levels," Eugene Kiely reports for The act, which was signed in March, was funded with $75 million shifted from an existing school safety program. "But a single program created in the late 1990s and since disbanded, called COPS in Schools, provided as much as $180 million in fiscal year 2000, according to a 2017 government report. That’s $260 million in 2018 dollars," Kiely reports.

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