Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FACT CHECK UPDATE: National GOP Group Gets "Two Pinocchios" For Claiming Arizona Reps. Barber & Kirkpatrick Want To "Put The IRS In Charge Of Your Healthcare"

The National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC") is attacking Arizona Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) and Ron Barber (D-CD2) for not voting with House Republicans recently to repeal Obamacare, and their billboards are not sitting well with one national fact checker.

The NRCC brought the attack to the southern and northern Arizona districts yesterday with mobile billboards stating that "Barber's (or, Kirkpatrick's) Plan: Put the IRS in charge of your healthcare.  Fed up? Call...."

Spokespeople for both Representatives were quick to respond in this Arizona Republic article, and Barber's campaign has been sending out fundraising e-mails pegged to the NRCC attacks. (example below the jump)  Barber campaign spokesman Rodd McLeod notes in the article that the Congressman has signed on to three bills that seek to change some aspects of the healthcare reform laws.

This morning, the Washington Post's The Fact Checker column published a review of the NRCC campaign (it targets a couple of other Democrats who had originally voted against Obamacare but did not vote to repeal this month).  

It finds that the Republicans' claim that the IRS - currently embroiled in controversy/scandal/pick your favorite descriptive term for shitstorm - will be "in charge of your healthcare" is pretty over-the-top given that the employer-based health insurance system will remain largely in place, and that up until a few weeks ago, the very same Republicans were claiming that the Department of Health and Human Services was going to be in charge of implementing Obamacare.  

The Fact Checker thinks it is natural that the GOP would now want to claim that the IRS is in charge, because of the scandal, but finds that to be "a significant exaggeration".  The NRCC received a grade of "Two Pinocchios" (on a scale of "truth" to 4 Pinocchios being the most blatant falsehood.

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