Dishonest Journalism – And Fact Check FAIL ( by me)

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So, I woke up this morning, and while I was scanning the news, I saw this headline.

CBO: Obamacare to cost $1.76 trillion over 10 yrs

I scanned the short piece, and applied the usual safeguards: the meat of the article seemed plausible, there was a link to the CBO report, and the link actually took you to where you needed to be. So I posted it on Facebook, under the tagline “Obamacare much more expensive than advertised…. Told ya so.” But, in my rush to confirm my personal bias against the Obama Pelosi health care law (it’s not going to do what it claims, and will only make things more expensive) , I skipped a step – I didn’t actually read the CBO report.

I mean, the writer at the Examiner wouldn’t provide false info and numbers if he linked to the actual CBO report… Right????

The answer to that is, sadly, yes.

A Facebook friends promptly notified me of another article from The Hill, stating that the CBO estimates the cost to be about $1.1 trillion. (my fingers keep typing “extimate” for some reason) My first thought was that the article must be a year old. But nope. it’s from this week. And the link to the CBO Report is the same one from the Examiner.

So now I thinking “What The Math?????“.

As is usual, the truth is in the middle. The Hill fails to mention that the actual cost IS about $120 billion above the original projection when it passed. So the cost is rising. BUT, the Examiner does worse by not only jumping ahead a year to the period of 2013 to 2022, which isn’t mentioned in the report. The CBO estimates are from 2012 to 2021. Worse still, the writer of the Examiner piece adds all sorts of fiscal conditionals not even covered in the report that are not included in the CBO report.

Though it is true that, as each years passes, the cost of the ADA will increase because more expenses are added into the CBO ten year estimate as the Obamacare kick-off year 2016 gets closer and closer, the $1.76 trillion number does not appear anywhere in the CBO report, and neither does the 2013 to 2022 estimate.

This is dishonest reporting. The writer of the Examiner article has posted a follow-up, explaining how he got the figures he did. But it still isn’t CBO based and pulls lots of assumptions out of a hat. So FAIL # 2.

I have been burned by the Examiner before, and I shouldn’t have let my guard down. I was going to delete the Facebook post, but I need it out in the world as a reminder that I sometimes bite on things before putting in the proper leg work, and as a reminder that can’t let my guard down. I got burned, and I deserved it.

And yes, I did manage to throw an Adventure Time With Finn And Jake reference AND a Split Enz / Tim Finn , Neil Finn video into a post about crappy journalism. Finn’s Everywhere!!!!

Yes, I’m just that good!


Note:  I did have to delete the original post after all. I started getting too many likes, and was afraid that no one was reading my mia-culpa and take-down of the original article.

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