Sunday, June 24, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact Florida: Ad distorts to attack Sen. Bill Nelson on health care law

A new television ad attacks Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., on the health care law and claims to have "the facts." Then it trots out a series of distortions.

The ad is from an outside spending group called American Commitment, a Washington-based conservative advocacy group. It's a 501(c)4, so it doesn't have to disclose its donors. The ad's website notes that its president, Phil Kerpen, previously worked at other right-leaning groups like the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute.

"Florida patients and seniors deserve to know what are the facts about President Barack Obama's health care law," the ad begins. "Fact: Bill Nelson was the deciding vote." PolitiFact Florida rated that claim Mostly False.

Nelson was among the 60 senators who voted to move the health care law through the Senate. Opponents of the law have argued that any of those 60 cast the deciding vote, because every vote was needed to pass the bill.

But there's evidence in the record to show that some of those votes were more important than others. Some senators — most notably Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb. — held out for special provisions or other concessions. Florida's Nelson wasn't among the hold-outs and played no critical role in the law's passage.

The ad then says that the health law could cost up to $2 trillion, "double what we were promised." That earned a False rating.

The number is cherry-picked, from a March 2012 report put out by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The actual number is $1.76 trillion, and it's only up slightly — less than 10 percent — from the CBO's original cost estimates issued in March 2010. The CBO itself put out a statement correcting claims that it had significantly increased its cost estimates.

But more importantly, when the CBO took into account tax increases and other cost-saving measures in 2010, the health care law actually reduced the federal deficit, by about $124 billion over 10 years.

The ad then says that the law "imposes the largest tax increase in history on the middle class." This claim received a rating of Pants on Fire. Most of the taxes in the health care law fall on high earners (individuals who make $200,000 or more year, couples who make more than $250,000) and on the health care industry. And even those tax increases don't add up to the largest in history.

These rulings have been edited for print. Read the full versions at PolitiFact.com/Florida.

Comments
Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

LEXINGTON, Va. - Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening - nearly 200 miles from the White House - when the choice presented itself.Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Published: 06/22/18
Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

TAMPA — A Democrat has officially joined the race for Hillsborough County sheriff.Gary Pruitt, a 50-year-old former Tampa police corporal who now works as director of security at a local mall, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Sheriff Chad Chr...
Published: 06/22/18
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18