Politifact apparently has given up any pretense of being a serious independent news source. It wanted so badly to trash Obama over his "keep your insurance" line that it made this the lie of the year in 2013 even though all its examples were from 2008-2010.

But, when you're trying to push an agenda there is no reason to let reality get in the way. It also decided to hype the horrors of people losing their insurance, telling readers:

"there was no shortage of powerful anecdotes about canceled coverage.

"One example: PBS Newshour interviewed a woman from Washington, D.C., who was a supporter of the health care law and found her policy canceled. New policies had significantly higher rates. She told Newshour that the only thing the new policy covered that her old one didn’t was maternity care and pediatric services. And she was 58.

"'The chance of me having a child at this age is zero. So, you know, I ask the president, why do I have to pay an additional $5,000 a year for maternity coverage that I will never, ever need?' asked Deborah Persico."

While I have personally not investigated the matter, I would be willing to bet that there are other differences between Ms. Persico's cancelled policy and the Obamacare compliant one costing $5,000 more than coverage of maternity costs (e.g. lower co-pays and deductibles on the more expensive policy). It is likely that Ms. Persico also opted to buy one of the more expensive plans in the exchange, since low cost plans can generally be purchased for around $5,000 a year and it is likely that her previous plan did carry a positive price.

A real news outlet would have examined Ms. Persico's claims before highlighting them as a "powerful anecdote" about canceled coverage.

Thanks to Robert Salzberg for calling this one to my attention.


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