US Senate debate produces some questionable claims
Posted September 3, 2014 9:03 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:47 p.m. EDT
Research Triangle Park, N.C. — U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and state House Speaker Thom Tillis met for the first of two scheduled debates Wednesday, and both used some lines that rang bells with WRAL's fact-checking staff.
There were also a few claims that we heard in the context of this Senate campaign for the first time.
Some of the claims may have sounded surprising but hold up under scrutiny, while others fail even a cursory check for truthfulness.
Here are some of the claims from both Hagan and Tillis from the debate that stood out to us and where they rate on our fact-checking scale if we can make a call on the spot.previous posts, it leaves out a lot of context. Green light, but voters should know more.based on a National Journal ranking. It's worth noting there are other scales that rate how conservative or liberal a senator is. Green light.
has found that it holds up. Green light.
looked at this claim before we put our fact-checking scale in effect, but today, it would merit a yellow light. Tillis hasn't articulated much of a health care platform one way or the other, but he has expressed support for a congressional budget that would have involved vouchers for private insurance.pushed a bill that blocked Gov. Pat McCrory from expanding Medicaid without permission. There is pretty good evidence that "roughly 500,000 low-income people in North Carolina were expected to gain coverage through Medicaid expansion." Green light.a widely reported number, but the Associated Press said it applied to "residents" not "households." Presumably, there is more than one resident in most households, and a Washington Post fact check points out that the 475,000 number was about double the number of canceled policies and added, "As it turns out, significantly more policies were purchased in North Carolina on the Obamacare exchange – 357,584 policies, according to the Web site ACAsignups.net. That’s nearly double the number of 'cancellations,' even though North Carolina was a state that chose not to accept the provision of expanded Medicaid in the law." Red Light.it triggered a federal law that cut off long-term unemployment insurance benefits to workers in the state. Hagan gets the $780 million number from a Department of Labor news release. Green light.U.S. Treasury Department. When Hagan took office, the national debt was roughly $10 trillion. It has risen to roughly $17 trillion as of Labor Day. Green light.Hagan said that, if you liked your health insurance, you could keep it. The fact-checking website Politifact.com called that the "lie of the year" in 2013.
Tills also said, "Now I'm going to see my insurance rates go up 11 percent." Better fact-checkers than us have taken a run at the claim that premiums will rise steeply as a result of Obamacare. While there is certainly evidence that health insurance costs continue to rise, like The Washington Post, we're going to leave this one unsettled for the time being.which comes from a 2011 News & Observer story, was, "They don't care about kids. They don't care about classrooms," Tillis said. "They only care about their jobs and their pensions." To be fair, Tillis was referring to the North Carolina Association of Educators, a group that lobbies for teachers at the General Assembly, rather than all teachers writ large. Yellow light.