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Bogus Assumptions': FactCheck.org Finds Errors on Obama's 'Life of Julia' Site

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"falsely claims Romney would leave Julia with 'nothing but a voucher' to buy health insurance at age 65"

The Obama campaign's "Life of Julia" web graphic created quite the stir when it was unveiled last week. Obama opponents derided its cradle-to-grave government philosophy, and there was also a spot of trouble with a certain flag placement.

"Julia" hasn't escaped the notice of fact-checkers either: The Washington Post gave her three pinocchios for the claim that she could "retire comfortably" under Obama, while a Mitt Romney administration would cut her Social Security benefits by 40 percent. PolitiFact said it was "false" that her student loan rates would be allowed to double under a President Romney. And now, FactCheck.org has weighed in to say it found "some bogus assumptions in the Obama campaign's fable about a fictional woman."

FactCheck.org's summary of its findings:

  • The campaign falsely claims Romney would leave Julia with “nothing but a voucher” to buy health insurance at age 65. Actually, the plan Romney has endorsed would let her choose between traditional Medicare fee-for-service coverage, or a variety of private plans with premiums partially paid by the government.
  • The slide show also contends that Julia, as a senior citizen, will have to pay “$6,350 extra per year” for a health care plan similar to Medicare. But that’s an out-of-date cost estimate based on a year-old plan that since has been made substantially more generous.
  • At age 67, Julia can “retire comfortably” under Obama but, “Under Mitt Romney: Julia’s benefits could be cut by 40%.” But the fact is Obama has not proposed any plan to avoid a 25 percent cut in benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries, which the system’s trustees say is looming in 2033 unless changes are made.
  • As a 22-year-old college student, Julia needs surgery that is covered “due to a provision in health care reform” keeping her on her parents’ insurance. Fair enough. But she’d probably be covered anyway: Thirty-seven states already have similar mandates on the books.
  • As a 31-year-old expectant mother, Julia “benefits from maternal checkups” required under the new health care law. But she would probably get that care anyway; 85 percent of full-time workers have health insurance now, and a 1978 federal law already requires that employer-provided insurance generally must “cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions.”

Read its full analysis here.

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