Becky Bowers, PolitiFact Digital Operations Manager

Becky Bowers

Becky Bowers directs digital operations for PolitiFact's national, state and international sites and mobile products — and sometimes, just for fun, writes and edits for PolitiFact.com. Bowers has worked for the Tampa Bay Times since 2002 as a copy editor, wire editor, copy chief, business graphics reporter, online business editor, deputy business editor, deputy government & politics editor and PolitiFact staff writer.

Phone: (202) 463-0572, (727) 553-5238 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505 ext. 5238

Email: bbowers@tampabay.com

Twitter: @BeckyBowers

The Bowers file: PolitiFact.com

  1. Obamacare doesn't require doctors to ask about sex

    National

    "Obamacare will question your sex life," said a New York Post headline this week.

    The opinion piece underneath, written by the former lieutenant governor of New York, Betsy McCaughey, begins:

    " 'Are you sexually active? If so, with one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?'

    "Be ready to answer those questions and more the next time you go to the doctor, whether it's the dermatologist or the cardiologist and no matter if the questions are unrelated to why you're seeking medical help. And you can thank the Obama health law."...

  2. PolitiFact: Debunking bloggers who say Warren Buffett recently turned against Obamacare

    National

    The statement

    Warren Buffett recently said "Scrap Obamacare and Start All Over."

    Bloggers, Sept. 13 in posts

    The ruling

    Conservative Internet bloggers recently turned up three-year-old quotes from Warren Buffett and cast them as fresh evidence that American support is dwindling for President Barack Obama's health care law.

    But the quotes were not properly identified as three years old and do not reflect Buffett's full thinking on the health care law....

  3. Did Russia block a U.N. press release on Syria?

    Columns

    Diplomacy and fact-checking are a tough mix.

    Consider one popular American talking point on Russia and the United Nations. Russia's been so obstructionist, goes the recent line, it's opposed innocuous press releases from the U.N. Security Council about Syria.

    That's probably true. But independently confirming it is another matter.

    Yes, the Security Council does have open meetings, with video and public records and all the trappings of formal international governing. But it also holds closed meetings without transcripts. And even more informally, some members hold confidential consultations with one another. ...

    As President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin each work to put out statements on the Syria matter, it’s difficult to get confirmation of diplomatic dealings.
  4. PolitiFact: World powers reached some agreement against chemical weapons 100 years ago

    National

    As President Barack Obama appeals to Congress to authorize a limited military strike against Syria, he has focused on intelligence that the country killed its citizens in a chemical attack.

    Yet far more Syrians have died in the nation's 2-year-old civil war in other ways. What's the difference?

    U.S. officials and lawmakers explain that there's long-standing international agreement that chemical warfare simply isn't okay....

  5. PolitiFact: Rand Paul's price estimates for health care are way too high

    Health

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky regularly warns fellow Republicans that they need to woo voters outside their base, including young people. Paul led by example last week with an appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show to talk about his opposition to the federal health care law.

    In between jokes about his presidential aspirations and the short tenure of guest host John Oliver, Paul argued that health care needs to be more affordable, especially for young people....

    Sen. Rand Paul said some may spend half their salary on insurance.
  6. PolitiFact: Florida lawmakers yielded authority to negotiate rates under Obamacare

    National

    Floridians may pay unreasonable health insurance rates under Obamacare because of a law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, says U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

    In a letter co-signed by Florida's nine other House Democrats, Deutch says the law takes away Florida's ability to "negotiate lower rates with companies or refuse rates that are too high."

    The Aug. 1 letter goes on to ask the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to "protect Florida consumers — since Gov. Scott, the Florida Legislature and Insurance Commissioner (Kevin) McCarty will not."...

    A new state law suspends for two years Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s power to negotiate lower rates or refuse rates that are too high under Obamacare.
  7. Did Florida lawmakers know what it meant to hand off health plan rate review to feds?

    Blog

    When Florida lawmakers decided during the 2013 session to hand off review of rates for new health plans for two years to the feds, it's not clear they knew what that meant.

    PolitiFact recently rated True a claim from U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, that Florida stripped the state insurance commissioner’s authority to negotiate or refuse rates for plans on new Obamacare marketplaces....

  8. Rubio cites flawed data on Obamacare

    State Roundup

    Sen. Marco Rubio says it's not too late to stop Obamacare.

    In fact, he says, Congress should refuse to pass a spending bill that funds it, even at the risk of shutting down government. That's because he sees "mounting evidence of how Obamacare creates more problems than it solves, particularly for small business owners and the people who work for them."

    One of those pieces of evidence: the number of small businesses who "say they are going to be forced to either fire workers or cut their hours."...

    Sen. Marco Rubio says Obamacare’s employer mandate will hurt small businesses.
  9. PolitiFact: Survey estimates Obamacare delay affects few workers

    State Roundup

    The statement

    Says Obama administration delay of health care law's large employer mandate affects about 1 percent of the American workforce.

    Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press

    The ruling

    Just how many workers does the health care law's employer mandate affect, anyway?

    The Obama administration's announcement that it would delay requiring large employers to provide full-time employees with affordable coverage inflamed opponents of the law. (And dismayed some supporters, who questioned whether the president had that authority.)...

  10. PolitiFact's top 5 falsehoods in the immigration debate

    Politics

    From fence opt-out clauses to free phones for immigrants, PolitiFact has tracked the rhetoric of the immigration debate — and heard plenty of falsehoods.

    With a bill now heading to the House, we decided to recap PolitiFact's top five falsehoods so far in the immigration debate.

    1986 amnesty assured President Barack Obama's re-election? A popular line of attack for the Senate bill is that it'll be 1986 all over again — amnesty for illegal immigrants, without enforcement to prevent a new wave of people crossing the southwestern border. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, went a step further, claiming President Ronald Reagan shaped the nation's electoral future....

  11. PolitiFact: Fact-checking claims about Benghazi attacks

    National

    House Republicans held hearings last week on the 2012 attacks on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. That has renewed a war of words between members of Congress and President Barack Obama.

    Here's the history: Diplomatic workers staffed a temporary residential outpost in the Libyan city after the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. On a night the U.S. ambassador was visiting from the capital in Tripoli, armed Islamic terrorists attacked, setting a toxic diesel-fueled fire that killed the ambassador and a colleague. Americans then drove, chased by attackers, to a nearby annex, where a mortar attack in the morning killed two security contractors. By noon, hasty scrambling by the American and Libyan governments got U.S. workers to safety in Tripoli, along with their four dead comrades....

  12. Politifact: Medicare does have nine codes for turkey contacts

    National

    The statement

    Says new Medicare billing guidelines "have nine codes for (injuries by) turkeys."

    U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, on Fox Business Network

    The ruling

    Doctors' offices, already burdened by federal billing bureaucracy, will soon find themselves pecked to death by new rules, Texas congressman Ted Poe says.

    New diagnosis codes required for reimbursement are so specific, he told Fox Business Network host John Stossel, there are a set of them just for injuries caused by turkeys....

  13. PolitiFact explores controversial world of gun statistics

    National

    It's a statistic that President Barack Obama and gun control advocates like to repeat again and again: Forty percent of gun purchases are made without background checks.

    It's true that purchases at gun shows and via the Internet typically go without background checks. But is it 40 percent? It's difficult for us fact-checkers to say, because it's based on a telephone survey from 1994 — almost 20 years ago....

    Two loud voices: The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, left, once said, “The problem that I see with what the CDC is doing is that they are not doing medicine, they’re doing politics.” And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given so much to research groups that some doubt their neutrality.
  14. PolitiFact: Chicago seizes more guns than New York, Los Angeles

    National

    The statement

    Says in Chicago, "we take more guns off the streets than New York or L.A."

    Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, in a CNN interview

    The ruling

    We talked with Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman in Emanuel's office. He said the city uses the comparison with New York and Los Angeles to demonstrate that Chicago's strict gun control rules won't work by themselves....

  15. PolitiFact: On Dick Cheney, Margaret Thatcher and 'wobbly' George H.W. Bush

    National

    The statement

    Says it's "an old wives' story" that Margaret Thatcher told George H.W. Bush not to go wobbly.

    Dick Cheney, in an interview on Fox News

    The ruling

    It's one of Margaret Thatcher's most memorable quotes, spoken to President George H.W. Bush after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait: "Remember, George, this is no time to go wobbly."

    Dick Cheney, the defense secretary who would become vice president, recently called it "an old wives' story."...