CNN Fact Checked The Sanders/Cruz Healthcare Debate – Prepare To Be Furious


Remember that long hyped up debate about the future of the Affordable Care Act between Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz?

CNN hosted that debate, moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, late Tuesday evening. The debate was styled like a town hall, with a significant chunk of the event devoted to Cruz and Sanders going back and forth over questions asked by various audience members.

Cruz and Sanders, of course, respectively represent the extremes of the ideological spectrum when it comes to pretty much everything — including healthcare. Sanders believes that healthcare is a right of all Americans, while Cruz does not.

In the Texas Senator’s words, he believes that access to healthcare is a right, not the actual healthcare itself. Sanders forcefully pointed out that working to provide access to healthcare for people does pretty much nothing, since access to healthcare doesn’t at all mean that the affected individual can actually afford that healthcare. In a way there is universal “access to healthcare” already present in the United States — people just can’t afford it.

Cruz, in defense of his position that working to provide healthcare to people is something fraught with difficulties so as to make it not worth it, tossed out a whole bunch of numbers over the course of the almost two hours that the debate went on. Cruz was trying to use these numbers to both undercut the legitimacy of ObamaCare and to undercut the legitimacy of working to move on from ObamaCare towards a single payer healthcare system. (Cruz’s plan is to move backwards from the ACA, back towards the kind of dog-eat-dog, insurance company profits driven healthcare system that existed before the law was passed.)

CNN, however, exposed the Texas Senator has having lied at least three times.

For example, the Texas Senator and former Republican presidential candidate claimed, as CNN summarizes it, that “there has been an increase in part-time employees due to employers who don’t want to provide Obamacare.” Cruz cited as a basis for this claim the ObamaCare provision that forces large scale employers to provide healthcare when their employees are full time.

Concurrently, Cruz claimed that there has been widespread stifling of small businesses due to the fact that the ObamaCare provision mentioned above kicks in when a business reaches its fiftieth employee.

CNN, however, rated each of these claims as false. According to CNN, there has been no overall increase in part time employment in the United States over the years that ObamaCare has been in effect. To the contrary, the percentage of employers that have gone from previously not insuring their workers to now insuring their workers is now much greater than those who have done the opposite, because of ObamaCare.

Another one of Cruz’s claims that CNN rated as false is his claim as to the specific size of the often discussed increase of ObamaCare insurance premiums over the past several years. The numbers that Cruz cited in his claims are the average growth of premiums under employer sponsored plans in the U.S., not of ObamaCare insurance premiums.

Check out the rest of CNN’s fact check here.

Featured Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images.