‘You need to look at your facts’
As regular viewers have no doubt noticed, “All in with Chris Hayes,” which airs just before “The Rachel Maddow Show” weeknights on msnbc, is consistently an exceptionally informative program. And while every night features lively and engaged discussions, there was one segment in particular this week that stood out as unique.
Chris talked – or at least tried to talk – to Jennifer Stefano, the Pennsylvania state director of the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity, ostensibly about health care reform, though as viewers quickly realized, the guest was quite a bit more animated than the voices that usually appear on “All In.”
The segment apparently generated quite a bit of conversation soon after, with reform supporters and opponents “arguing over which side got schooled.” I don’t much care who was “schooled,” but because I’ve been interested in AFP messaging, it seemed worthwhile to do what our pal Ari Melber did last night: fact check Jennifer Stefano’s claims.
The AFP official claimed, for example, that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, “we really are having our choices removed from us as mothers.” Is that true?
Probably not. I say “probably” because Stefano didn’t specify what “choices” she thinks are being “removed,” and it’s tough to fact-check vague assertions, but there’s nothing in the reform law intended to take mothers’ choices away. On the contrary, parents seem to have far more health care options now than before the reform law was passed.
She added, “This law has made 7 million people lose their insurance.” Is that true?
There’s no evidence to support the claim. Estimates vary as to exactly how many consumers received cancelation notices, but (a) even the most conservative Republicans in Congress don’t put the total at 7 million; (b) millions lost their insurance routine under the old system, so the point is rather dubious; and (c) it’s misleading to suggest consumers “lost their insurance,” since most of these Americans really just made a transition from one plan to a different plan.
Stefano then argued, “For the people who have actually signed up on the exchange … only 14 percent of them are actually people without coverage.” Is this true?
No, it’s not. In fact, the conservative activist appeared to be citing a study that concedes it “did not break down their results for people who specifically purchased insurance through Obamacare.”
She also argued that Medicaid expansion would apply to “people making $94,000 a year.” Chris referred to this as “a math train wreck.” Who’s right?
Well, not Stefano.
Finally, Stefano argued, “Here’s what I want, stick to the facts…. Stick to the facts, talk about facts.”
That sounds like a great idea.