By Charles Ornstein
When Louisiana resident Andrea Mongler wrote to her senator, Bill Cassidy, in support of the Affordable Care Act, she wasn’t surprised to get an email back detailing the law’s faults. Cassidy, a Republican who is also a physician, has been a vocal critic.
The legislators have cited wrong statistics, conflated health care terms and made statements that don’t stand up to verification.
“Obamacare” he wrote in January, “does not lower costs or improve quality, but rather it raises taxes and allows a presidentially handpicked ‘Health Choices Commissioner’ to determine what coverage and treatments are available to you.”
There’s one problem with Cassidy’s ominous-sounding assertion: It’s false.
The Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, includes no “Health Choices Commissioner.” Another bill introduced in Congress in 2009 did include such a position, but the bill died — and besides, the job as outlined in that legislation didn’t have the powers Cassidy ascribed to it.
As the debate to repeal the law heats up in Congress, constituents are flooding their representatives with notes of support or concern, and the lawmakers are responding, sometimes with form letters that are misleading.
A review of more than 200 such letters by ProPublica and its partners at Kaiser Health News, Stat and Vox, found dozens of errors and mischaracterizations about the ACA and its proposed replacement.
The legislators have cited wrong statistics, conflated health care terms and made statements that don’t stand up to verification. [Read more…] about We fact-checked lawmakers’ letters to constituents on health care