Fox Lies: Sean Hannity Fact-Checked over False Obamacare Claims
A Salon.com reporter and former senior counsel to Montana’s last governor has fact-checked anti-Obamacare claims made by Sean Hannity and found the Fox News host has blatantly misled viewers about the Affordable Care Act.
Eric Stern, former senior counsel to ex-Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, was recently watching Hannity on Fox News Channel. That particular episode featured a guest panel of “average Americans feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck.” Three married couples, all of them opposed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), told their “Obamacare horror stories,” which included canceled policies, soaring premiums, restrictions on doctor choice and financial pressure on small business leading to employee layoffs.
Hannity called these “stories the media refuses to cover.”
Perhaps that’s because they’re simply not true.
Stern tracked down the couples who appeared on Hannity’s panel and pressed them on the claims they made on-air. It turns out that Hannity has been broadcasting very misleading anti-Obamacare claims, even downright “fake evidence,” according to Stern.
Stern first contacted Paul Cox, owner of a North Carolina construction business who claimed they have had to reduce employee hours because of Obamacare, which has no effect on businesses with 49 or fewer workers. Cox’s business, it turns out, has only four employees, and he cut back on hours because he’s “chosen to do so.”
“I haven’t been forced to do so,” he said, contradicting the misleading claim made on Fox News. “I have to deal with increased costs,” Cox added. When pressed on what those costs are, Cox did not respond.
Stern also called Tennessee couple Robbie and Tina Robinson, who told Hannity that their rates would be going up 50 to 75 percent as a result of policy changes incurred under Obamacare. The Robinsons claim they already pay around $10,000 a year for insurance, so based on their claim, the ACA would raise their rates to between $15,000-$17,500. Like all the other couples who appeared on Hannity, the Robinsons admitted they haven’t even attempted to shop for insurance on the ACA-mandated exchanges that are now open for business. But Stern did some shopping for the couple and found them a plan that would cost only $3,700 a year, or 63 percent less than what they’re currently paying.
Stern accuses Hannity of “exploiting people’s ignorance and falsely pointing to imaginary boogeymen.”
This incident marks the third time this month that what Stern calls the ‘Fox News lie machine’ has been caught disseminating demonstrably false information. Last week, Fox aired a false story, lifted word-for-word from an anti-gay Christian website, claiming a transgender female student at a Colorado high school was harassing other students in a girls’ bathroom. According to the school district and students, this never happened.
And earlier this month, Fox and Friends co-host Anna Kooiman repeated a lie about President Barack Obama that was originally published on a satirical right-wing website claiming he offered to pay out of his own pocket to keep a Muslim museum open.
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