An ad airing on local stations from Crossroads GPS leaves the false impression that a Colorado woman "had to go back to work" to pay for health care insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Under the federal law, most legal U.S. residents had to have insurance or pay a penalty But she was not forced to buy insurance at unaffordable rates on the individual market, as implied in the ad. She later told a local TV station that her decision to get a job had nothing to do with the health care law.
The Crossroads GPS ad is the latest in the anti-Obamacare genre that feature real people telling not-so-real stories. Richelle McKim of Castle Rock, Colo., is featured in this ad, which attacks Democratic Sen. Mark Udall for supporting the Affordable Care Act. McKim says Udall's vote"has hurt families in Colorado, for small-business owners that are trying to make it and support their families."
She talks about the risk her husband took to start a company, and the expense of buying health insurance. She never says so, but the impression left by the ad's deceptive framing is that she had to go back to work in order to afford a health care policy.
McKim acknowledged in a subsequent interview with KDVR, a Fox affiliate, that she got a job outside the home so she could buy health insurance through her employer. Starting a business is a risk, but the ACA does little to increase that risk.
The law exempts businesses with fewer than 50 full time employees (FTEs) from the requirement that companies pay a penalty if they do not offer health care insurance to their workers. So, the employer mandate that McKim talks about in the interview does not apply. The ACA may actually help small businesses. It provides a temporary, two-year tax credit to companies with fewer than 25 FTEs to help provide insurance to their employees, and it seeks to permanently reduce the cost further by creating the Small Business Health Options Program, which allows companies with up to 50 FTEs to leverage their purchasing power to obtain cheaper rates. The Crossroads GPS ad misleads voters. Richelle McKim did not have to "go back to work" because her family "couldn't afford" Obamacare - as even McKim acknowledges.
Tucker Carlson misfires on gun deaths
Tucker Carlson, co-host of "Fox and Friends Weekend," argued that bathtubs are more deadly than guns. Carlson: "Guns don't kill people, bathtubs do." Total deaths for children 17 and under due to drowning in a bathtub were 95 in 2011, the latest year the numbers are available. Total deaths from accidental gun shots were 102. The one age range where Carlson might be able to make a case is for 0 to 4 years old. For that group, 73 died in a bathtub, and 29 were killed by guns. But in every other age group, guns are more deadly than bathtubs. For children 5 years old and up, government data show that guns are three times more deadly than bathtubs.
Carlson was not just wrong, but the phrase, "far more children died," was emphatically wrong. Politifact rates the claim "Pants on Fire."
Chip Tuthill lives in Mancos. Websites used: www.politifact.com and www.factcheck.org.