Fact Checker: What both parties got wrong about the GOP health-care bill, premiums and tax credits

What both parties got wrong about the GOP health-care bill, premiums and tax credits Next week, the Congressional Budget Office will release its analysis of exactly how much impact the new GOP health-care overhaul plan will have on Americans. So this week, we took a look at two talking points about the health plan — one …
 
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What both parties got wrong about the GOP health-care bill, premiums and tax credits Next week, the Congressional Budget Office will release its analysis of exactly how much impact the new GOP health-care overhaul plan will have on Americans. So this week, we took a look at two talking points about the health plan — one by Republicans and one by Democrats. Advocates of the plan, the American Health Care Act, frequently say premiums would go down under the proposal. There is, in fact, a line in an earlier CBO report on the plan that, at first glance, might suggest premiums will decline by 10 percent. But the reference in the report is compared to current law: the Affordable Care Act. What CBO does is measure the impact of a proposed law against a current law baseline. So average premiums by 2026 are projected to be roughly 10 percent lower than the baseline for the Affordable Care Act — but they still would go up. We actually did the math to find out exactly how much premiums are projected to increase under both the Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act, for all age groups, through 2026. Check out our analysis and graphics. Enjoy this newsletter? Forward it to someone else who’d like it! If this e-mail was forwarded to you, sign up here for the weekly newsletter. Hear something fact-checkable? Send it here, we’ll check it out.  Nancy Pelosi’s flawed talking point on the health-care bill Here’s a new talking point by critics of the GOP plan: It will cause veterans to lose premium tax credits, which help make health insurance more affordable. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this week: “Seven million veterans will lose their tax credit for their families in this bill.” Under current law, people who qualify for government-sponsored health care (like Medicaid or benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs) aren’t eligible for premium tax credits. But veterans are unique; not all of them enroll in VA benefits even if they qualify. So right now, there’s a special exemption that allows veterans to get tax credits if they aren’t enrolled in — but qualify for — VA health care. Republicans initially had this same exemption in their bill. But they had to remove it in the version that ultimately passed the House, because of restrictions under specific parliamentary tactics they chose to help move it through the Senate. Republicans have stressed they want current protections to remain for veterans, and introduced a separate bill to make sure that happens. Even if the current protections don’t carry over, the universe of people affected by this change likely is not the full 7 million. There already are people within that 7 million population who don’t qualify for the tax credit because they have another form of insurance. We awarded Three Pinocchios to Pelosi.
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Readers asked, so we delivered! Through President Trump’s first 100 days, we tracked every false or misleading claim to understand our new president’s relationship with the facts. We learned a lot. By his 100th day, we counted 492 false/misleading claims by the president. We thought our work was done. But many readers demanded we continue keeping track of the president’s suspect statements. And we always try to respond to reader requests. So today, we announced our new project: 365 days of Trump’s false or misleading claims. (Thanks to Leslie Shapiro and Kaeti Hinck of the Post graphics department.) We plan to update the database every two weeks or so. See any claims we’re missing? Fill out this form to send us a tip. (We are also tracking 60 Trump campaign promises in another interactive graphic.) We’re always looking for fact-check suggestions! You can also reach us via email, Twitter (@myhlee@GlennKesslerWP or use#FactCheckThis), or Facebook (Fact Checker or myhlee). Read about our rating scale here, and sign up here for our weekly Fact Checker newsletter.  Scroll down for this week’s Pinocchio roundup. — Michelle Ye Hee Lee
 
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