Editor’s note: A letter that appeared in last week’s issue listed certain line items in the Affordable Care Act. The line item criticisms began to be circulated around the internet in 2009 and refer to a version of the health care bill that was never passed by Congress. A few sites to visit: PolitiFact.com; Snopes.com or Factcheck.org or read through the bill yourself at www.gpo.gov.
As I was reading the letter to the editor from Oct. 24 entitled What's really in the bill is 'scary', I was ready to write my congressmen and complain because I was really concerned about what I was reading. Before doing so, however, I decided to look at the Affordable Care Act (which was the bill referenced in the title), also known as Obamacare, and check it out for myself.
Page numbers were given for each of the "scary" items listed in the letter to the editor. However, when I went to the document none of those "scary" parts were on the pages listed.
I decided to do some further checking. What I found was that the information given in the letter to the editor came from a chain email that had been going around since 2009. The page numbers didn't match because the information had apparently come from a different bill, not Obamacare, and that it had never passed Congress.
I also found I was not the only one who was curious about the "scary" parts that many other people were wondering about from this same email. Fact checking organizations had been asked many times about what was in the email. It turns out that every "scary" part of the email was either false or misleading.
Let me address each item given in the letter to the editor:
I hope my research helps to ease your mind if you read the previous letter to the editor. Do your own fact checking. You can't believe everything you get in forwards and emails.
Gail Hug — Franklin, N.C.