PolitiFact's 2013 Lie of the Year Was Half True in 2012



The main thing one learns from PolitiFact's 2013 Lie of the Year Award is that PolitiFact is not very good at determining what does or does not constitute a lie, or a fact, at the time it's actually utttered. 

Yesterday, the fact-checking organization named President Obama's oft-repeated promise that individuals who like their health plans can keep them under Obamacare its 2013 Lie of the Year. 

Given that Obama first uttered his promise years ago, this might seem a bit late. Especially since, as PolitiFact editor Angie Holan notes in a column on the award, the organization rated that same promise "half true" in both 2009 and 2012, which Holan says means the statement was "partially correct and partially wrong." 

So it was partially true then, but it's the Lie of the Year now? That's quite an evolution—and one that doesn't exactly offer a strong reason to trust the organization's real-time fact-checking prowess. 

Indeed, PolitiFact's judgment on this particular Obama claim has actually shifted even more over the years. As The Washington Examiner's Sean Higgins points out, PolitiFact rated Obama's statement that "if you've got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it" as "true" back in 2008, when Obama was campaigning for president. The reasoning behind that call: "Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here. He advocates a program that seeks to build on the current system, rather than dismantling it and starting over." As millions of people have already discovered, however, even building on the existing system turns out to require tearing some parts of it down. 

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  1. Look, if they questioned his veracity before the election, he might not have been reelected. Can’t have that, and that’s a polifact.

    1. The More You Know…

  2. The cake is a lie.

    1. There is no cake. Only tears of sorrow.

    2. Untrue, we saw the cake, the computer ate it.

    3. +1 Fish-shaped volatile organic compounds and sediment-shaped sediment.

  3. Ya knw, he’s so dreamy, they just had to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    F’ing slimy apologists…

  4. PolitiFact rates the statement “Suderman wins Alt Text” as “True”?

    1. Nah. He’s not a Democrat, so he’ll get “partially false”.

    2. Did you see Loder’s alt-text earlier? Pete’s got some competition on his tail.

  5. “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here.”

    Really? Let’s see the details of that plan, not the campaign bullet points. If he really had a plan, he might have involved himself in the legislative process.

  6. Obama lied, my health care died.

  7. semi-related. Is Doctor “conscription next?”

    Look for doctors to be conscripted to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.

    The other thing we can do is draft the doctors, conscripting them into accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients, and those patients with new Obamacare policies that inevitably will end up looking a lot like Medicaid. Kathleen Murphy, a Democratic candidate for the Virginia state house, proposed exactly that during a recent candidates’ forum.-snip-

    As radical as conscription seems, it is logically consistent with the Democrats’ approach to health-care “reform” going back to the Johnson administration, an approach that treats patients and doctors alike as villeins to be apportioned by the lords in Washington. The main obstacle to reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending is the fact that physicians have a choice about whether to participate in the programs. In the long run, the fact that physicians have a choice about whom they see and where they practice is the most significant challenge to the full implementation of Obamacare. The logical thing ? politically and economically ? is to eliminate that choice. You don’t have to formally nationalize the health-care industry; you just nationalize 40 percent of each physician’s practice and call it his “fair share.”

    1. It’s going to happen. I expect it within the next 10-20 years. And when that exacerbates the doctor shortage as doctors run for the exits, they’ll start drafting people into med school. Because slavers gonna slave.

      1. How long before a law is passed allowing the government to force people through medical school to replenish the supply of slaves doctors who’ve retired/died?

        1. One would hope that even the government would recognize what a catastrophically stupid idea that would be, for many reasons. Which is why I expect it to happen one day.

          1. “One would hope that even the government would recognize what a catastrophically stupid idea that would be.”

            This hope is mostly false.

    2. scope of practice fight first. delegation to nurse practitioners and the like. you can see a doctor … after you’ve seen a nurse.

      1. do’h. maybe i should have RTFA first.

    3. The docs are hella powerful politically. I don’t see it, not overtly, especially when they can get there through the back door with single payer. Which plenty of docs are stupid enough to support.

    4. “The other thing we can do is draft the doctors, conscripting them into accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients”

      I thought slavery was prohibited by the 13th Amendment.

  8. PolitiFact Surprised Writing on Wall Turned Out to be Accurate

  9. I personally like “Death Panels” better, politi”fact” called it the lie of
    year in 2009

    “http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/ article/2009/dec/18/ politifact-lie-year-death-panels/”

    then came Howard Dean

    One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body.


    then Paul krugman!


    Given their record, I would say, this makes Obama statement true.

    1. IPAB is only for people on the dole – Medicare namely. And it is amazing that a so-called “libertarian” is complaining about cutting unnecessary medical costs that taxpayers have to pay for.

      1. IPAB is only for people on the dole – Medicare namely.

        Oh, well, that’s alright then.

  10. I created this parody video in November when everyone else BUT the hacks at Politifact knew it was the lie of the century!


    Hitler’s health insurance is cancelled.



  11. “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here.”

    Intentions. The President thinks it would be nice for everybody to have free unlimited health care. A bunch of profiteering kkkorporations and rethuglitard obstrukkktionists thwarted his awesome plan.

  12. So the Lie of 2013 was said in 2009?

    1. To be fair, he also lied in 2013 about this lie from 2009. “What I said was…”

      1. Let him be clear.

        1. I think he’s pretty transparent, myself.

          1. It’s only a lie if a reasonable person would believe it.

        2. It’s lies all the way down. Then the lies loop around and invert into a Mobius strip of lies.

  13. It wasn’t a lie, people! It was obvious sarcasm. Geeze, does he have to put the /sarc tag on everything?

  14. Every election year, conservatives are going to have to deal with these Politi”Fact” assholes jumping thru hoops to portray anything the Dems say as truthful while doing the same to portray the other side as liars. And MSNBC will gladly repeat the pablum.

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