Bernie Sanders’ Claim (Where Fake News Comes From)
By John McClaughry, Vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute, Montpelier, VT
Our own Bernie Sanders issued a tweet last month that attracted national attention.
Glenn Kessler runs the Washington Post fact checker page. He wrote “”we looked at this tweet from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: “As Republicans try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they should be reminded every day that 36,000 people will die yearly as a result.”
“Sanders obtained the figure of 36,000 from a calculation by ThinkProgress, a left-leaning website, according to his aides. Essentially, ThinkProgress assumed that repeal will result in 29.8 million people losing their insurance and that one person will die for every 830 people who lose their insurance. That yields a number of 35,903.
“The number of 29.8 million comes from an Urban Institute report that assumes Republicans will repeal parts of the law through the reconciliation process without outlining any replacement plan, thus leading to a near collapse of the nongroup insurance market. That’s a pretty big assumption.
“Sanders has tweeted as a definite fact an estimate that a) assumes Republicans will gut Obamacare without a replacement b) assumes the worst possible impact from that policy and c) assumes that data derived from the Massachusetts experience can be applied across the United States.
Those are three very big assumptions. Take away any one of them, and Sanders’s claim that repeal of the law will cause 36,000 people to die a year falls apart.
The Washington Post Fact Checker gave Sanders a maximum of Four Pinocchios.