News Release

Fact-Checking Clinton and Obama: Healthcare * Social Security * Iran

The following analysts are available to scrutinize some of the claims of Democratic presidential candidates at the debate Thursday night in Las Vegas:

DON McCANNE, M.D.
At last night’s debate, Hillary Clinton claimed: “I have a universal health care plan that covers everyone.” Barak Obama claimed that “the fact of the matter is that I do provide universal health care.”

Senior health policy fellow with the group Physicians for a National Health Program, McCanne writes a daily health policy update. He said today: “Neither Clinton’s nor Obama’s plans get us to universal coverage. Clinton claims that her plan is going to get universal coverage because it has an individual mandate, but that’s been tried and failed in several states. … Obama claims his plan gets universal coverage by making coverage affordable for people, but if you look at his proposals, there’s very little substance to it.”
More Information

MARK WEISBROT
Sen. Obama talked of making “sure that Social Security is there for the people who need it.” An economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Weisbrot co-authored the book Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000) and wrote the recent article “Memo to Obama: No Rush to ‘Fix’ Social Security.”

He said today: “Social Security can pay all promised benefits for nearly 40 years, according to the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office. To ensure full benefits for the whole 75-year planning period will require only modest changes — less than we made in each of the decades of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. There is no need for Presidential candidates to pretend that this is a serious problem when it clearly is not.”
More Information

ROBERT NAIMAN
National coordinator and senior policy analyst at Just Foreign Policy, Naiman today wrote the piece “Clinton Flogs Alleged Iranian Role in Iraq — Even More Than Bush.” He said today: “In defending her votefor the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which critics have charged was intended to escalate towards military confrontation with Iran, Senator Clinton said ‘The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has assisted the militias and others in killing our Americans and maiming them [in Iraq].’

“This echoes unsubstantiated allegation by Senator Lieberman and the Bush administration that both Lieberman and the administration have claimed would justify U.S. military attacks on Iran. But, as Senator Clinton surely knows, the Bush administration has not produced evidence to substantiate these allegations.

“On February 12, the Washington Post reported on a much-awaited U.S. military briefing in Iraq that was supposed to substantiate these claims. ‘The officials offered no evidence to substantiate allegations that the ‘highest levels’ of the Iranian government had sanctioned support for attacks against U.S. troops.,’ noted the Post, adding that ‘the U.S. government has never publicly offered evidence proving the allegations.’ Iraq’s deputy foreign minister said the Iraqi government remains in the dark about the U.S. investigation into Iranian activities in Iraq. ‘It is difficult for us here in the diplomatic circles just to accept whatever the American forces say is evidence,’ he said. ‘If they have anything really conclusive, then they should come out and say it openly.’

“Regardless of what was true in the past, U.S. military officials are now saying that Iran has halted the smuggling of bombs into Iraq.’We have not seen any recent evidence that weapons continue to come across the border into Iraq.’ Army Maj. Gen. James Simmons said, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. ‘We believe that the initiatives and the commitments that the Iranians have made appear to be holding up.’

“It’s very unfortunate that Senator Clinton is still pushing the claim that Iran is responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq when even the Bush administration seems to be backing away from claiming it.”
More Information
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.