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Monday, September 30, 2013
WND's Klein Fails At Fact-Checking A Fact-Checker
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein writes in a Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily article:

As Democrats and Republicans feud over the funding of Obamacare, a widely published PolitiFact article claims it is a “myth” that President Obama’s health-care law contains rationing and “death panels.”

However, a WND review of the legislation found largely unreported sections with evidence of both health-care rationing and so-called death panels.

The health-care law further contains language that raises some concern for preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity and so-called life preferences.

The Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact this week published a piece titled “The top 16 myths about Obamacare.”

One “myth” the group claims to debunk is that the health-care law “rations care like systems in Canada and Great Britain.” PolitiFact said it “has rated this claim and others like it False.”

Another myth PolitiFact purports to disprove is the widely held belief the health-care law has “death panels.”

“We rated the ‘death panels’ claim Pants on Fire,” concluded PolitiFact.

However, the legislation evidences both health-care rationing and possible death panels.

First: Who uses "evidences" as a verb?

Second: At no point does Klein respond to, or even cite, the arguments PolitiFact made in reaching its conclusions -- Klein is simply throwing right-wing talking points at the conclusions, presumably copied-and-pasted from his pro-impeachment book.

Third: Notice Klein's use of the weasel word "possible." It takes several paragraphs to explain the convoluted way that an institute Obamacare creates could fulfill that "death panel" possibility.

Klein then tries to push an alleged example of how this "death panel" might work by citing a case involving Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which he claims is analogous to an institute funded under Obamacare:

There were recent reports that NICE was refusing to fund four new treatments for kidney cancer because they only change a patient’s life expectancy from six months to a year.

Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, commented on the denial of one drug for kidney cancer.

“Before we recommend any new treatment we have to be sure the evidence on how well it works is robust and that it is cost effective,” he said. ‘We do not want to divert NHS funds to a treatment that costs more but doesn’t help people live longer.”

Klein won't tell you that NICE is probably prudent to wait. One preliminary study released earlier this year notes that while the medication in question increased life expectancy, it also generates more adverse events in patients than existing medication. Reuters reports that the drug costs nearly $9,000 a month, which says that NICE is right to weigh such a cost against effectiveness.

Contradiction is not the same thing as a rebuttal, and cherry-picked examples are not real evidence. Perhaps that's one reason why PolitiFact has a Pulitizer and Aaron Klein doesn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EDT

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