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PolitiFact's Lie of the Year Nominees


The ten finalists have been announced in a contest that nobody wants to be entered in.

It's PoltiFact's "Lie of the Year."

PolitiFact will announce the winner soon.

In the meantime, it's asking readers to vote on their "Lie of the Year" from a list of ten nominees.

A number of the 2013 nominees involve the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Of course, it's better known these days as "Obamacare". And one of those ACA "Lie of the Year" nominees involves President Barack Obama himself. 

"If you like the plan you have, you can keep it," is what the President has said over and over again about the impact of the ACA.

But, as it turns out, that was not true for everybody.

"We first rated this in 2010 and again in 2012. Back then we rated it 'half-true,'" explained PolitiFact editor Angie Holan. "Then this year when it was being proved that wasn't true for everybody, he said, "What we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed." That got a 'Pants on Fire.' So, overall, "If you like your health care you can keep it," is something that was said in previous years but it certainly dominated the conversation this year."

Something Republican US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said about the ACA  is also a "Lie of the Year" nominee.

"President Obama just granted all of Congress an exception" to Obamacare is what Cruz told the conservative Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa in August.

"This one is really hard to explain," Holan admitted. "Let me just give you the headline here. Back when they were drafting the law, members of Congress said, 'Hey, we should force Congress to shop on the exchanges just like everybody else.'"

"So they said, 'Okay, we'll do this.' Well, the thing was they weren't treating Congress like everybody else because Congress gets their health insurance through work and if they had treated Congress like everyone else, they would have left them alone to get their insurance through work. But Congress is not exempt from the health care law. They have to have insurance like everybody else. So to say that 'Congress is exempt from the health care law in anything but a technical sense' is wrong. And, we rated it 'false.'"

And then there's this Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann statement about the ACA.

On "Fox News" in May, Bachmann said the IRS is going to be "in charge" of "a huge national database" on health care that will include Americans' "personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest secrets."

That statement is a "Lie of the Year" nominee because, "it's not the case at all," said Holan.

"The IRS does have a role in the health care law to check peoples' incomes to see if they're eligible for subsidies," she explained. "But that's as far as it goes. They are not keeping a database of health secrets. They don't have access to peoples' health care records. And they're not going to be checking peoples' most intimate, close-to-the-vest secrets. That one got a 'Pants on Fire.'"

There are seven other nominees on the list of "Lie of the Year" nominees. You can review them all at Politifact.com. There's a link there that will take you to an on-line ballot for the readers' poll.

The PolitiFact "Lie of the Year" will be announced in the "Tampa Bay Times" and WUSF 89.7 next week.

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