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WaPo Fact Checker: Since Obama Didn't Mean What He Said, Romney's a Liar

WaPo Fact Checker: Since Obama Didn't Mean What He Said, Romney's a Liar

Remember what I said earlier today in reference to how these dishonest media fact-checkers were specifically created to kill valid criticism of Democrats? How these fact checkers parse, rationalize and lie through omission as a way to turn valid criticisms into lies and then to use that ginned up lie to question the credibility of the Republican?  

I give you “fact checker” Glenn Kessler in today’s Washington Post:

The campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is trying to nail President Obama for making an iffy promise during the 2008 campaign — that premiums will be $2,500 lower under his health care plan. Instead, the Romney campaign argues in an effort to create a viral Facebook post, the swing has gone $4,893 the other way.

 The Romney graphic is false on several levels, though Obama certainly left himself open to scrutiny with imprecise language in the 2008 campaign.

Oh, it was “imprecise language,” not yet another falsehood spewing from Obama’s lips.

Kessler then doubles down on his deceit by explaining that the Romney campaign shouldn’t hold Obama accountable for what he said, but what he meant: [emphasis is mine]

The Romney campaign cites a statement from a 2007 speech by Obama, but it’s a pledge that was repeated often: “When I am president, we will have universal health care in this country by the end of my first term in office. It’s a plan that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by $2,500 a year.”

This particular quote is not very clear on when the savings would be realized, but in another speech, in 2008, Obama suggested it would be at the end of his first term — though to be fair, it is not clear if he is talking about the savings or enacting a new health care law[.]

Kessler later says Obama eventually cleared it up with a campaign memo you can bet no voter ever read. But you can also bet the ranch that plenty of voters heard what you and I and Team Romney heard — and that was a straightforward promise to lower family  health-care premiums by $2500 by the end of his first term.  

But none of that matters, you see.

Facts don’t matter. Not when those facts damage Obama.

What Obama repeatedly told Americans doesn’t matter. Not when it damages Obama.

Kessler then goes through some tortured explanation of the math Romney’s using, as though that math somehow changes the following: (pardon me for repeating this quote, but the absurdity of Kessler’s shilling requires that you understand just how far he’s willing to go in order to attempt to knock out a valid and powerful — which is why Kessler’s embarrassing himself — criticism of Obama):

The Romney campaign cites a statement from a 2007 speech by Obama, but it’s a pledge that was repeated often: “When I am president, we will have universal health care in this country by the end of my first term in office. It’s a plan that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by $2,500 a year.”

According to Obama, by the end of his first term, a typical family’s health care premium is supposed to be $2500 cheaper. PERIOD.

Instead, since 2008, a Kaiser survey shows that premiums have increased $2393.

And here are all the words Kessler uses to parse that hardcore FACT:

But note that Obama’s pledge came with an asterisk: He was not saying premiums would fall by that amount, as the Romney graphic asserts, but that costs would be that much lower than anticipated. In other words, if premiums were expected to rise by $5,000, they would only rise by $2,500 — that’s what Obama’s pledge meant, even if he was not too clear about it.

Michael Dobbs, our predecessor as The Fact Checker, awarded Obama Two Pinocchios for the pledge, saying it was based on shaky assumptions (such as a Rand Corp. study that was criticized by the Congressional Budget Office) and there was no guarantee that any savings would be passed on to consumers. Our colleagues at FactCheck.org also thought Obama’s pledge was highly dubious.

Of course, once Obama became president, the health care proposal he advocated as a candidate was significantly changed, even to the point of accepting the individual mandate that he had so criticized when Hillary Rodham Clinton promoted it. But the White House more or less stuck to the idea that costs would not rise as quickly as previously estimated — except that it would result in $2,000 in savings by 2019. (Recall also that the health care law will not be implemented until 2014, making a first-term pledge problematic.)

Now, let’s look at what the Romney campaign has done with the pledge. First, it assumes that Obama was saying that premiums would actually decline by $2,500, rather than decline from a projected increase. Then, it takes the 2011 Kaiser Family Foundation survey estimate (Exhibit 1.11) and subtracts the cost of a 2008 family premium ($12,680) from the cost of a 2011 premium ($15,073). Viola, an increase of $2,393–and a promise gap of $4,893.

The Romney campaign’s math is nonsensical. First of all, the Kaiser survey is conducted from January to May each year, so starting with the 2008 date makes little sense, since that is still George W. Bush’s term. Then the health care law was not passed until 2010, so the first year in which any impact could be seen from the law was in 2011.

But, as the Kaiser report notes, most of the provisions of the new law will not take effect in 2014. Thus far, other provisions, such as providing coverage for adult children up to age 26, appear to have had a modest impact on premiums–perhaps 1 to 2 percentage points. (The White House disputes even that effect.) Still, the full effect on premiums — including any possible savings — will not be seen until the law is completely implemented.

I can break all of that down into one word: gibberish.

The Washington Post and the Obama campaign have now been found coordinating together to attack Mitt Romney on three occasions.

Now the Post is so desperate to protect Obama from being held to a promise that the Post itself admits (“was repeated often”) that it’s prostituting its own fact checker to turn FACTS into Pinocchios.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC

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