The Obama campaign depends on some false or dubious assumptions in its “Life of Julia” slide show. The infographic depicts a fictional woman whose life from age 3 to 67 is better under the president’s policies than under those of Republican Mitt Romney. But in reality, the contrasts are not so stark or simple as the Obama team would have viewers believe.
- The campaign falsely claims Romney would leave Julia with “nothing but a voucher” to buy health insurance at age 65. Actually, the plan Romney has endorsed would let her choose between traditional Medicare fee-for-service coverage, or a variety of private plans with premiums partially paid by the government.
- The slide show also contends that Julia, as a senior citizen, will have to pay “$6,350 extra per year” for a health care plan similar to Medicare. But that’s an out-of-date cost estimate based on a year-old plan that since has been made substantially more generous.
- At age 67, Julia can “retire comfortably” under Obama but, “Under Mitt Romney: Julia’s benefits could be cut by 40%.” But the fact is Obama has not proposed any plan to avoid a 25 percent cut in benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries, which the system’s trustees say is looming in 2033 unless changes are made.
- As a 22-year-old college student, Julia needs surgery that is covered “due to a provision in health care reform” keeping her on her parents’ insurance. Fair enough. But she’d probably be covered anyway: Thirty-seven states already have similar mandates on the books.
- As a 31-year-old expectant mother, Julia “benefits from maternal checkups” required under the new health care law. But she would probably get that care anyway; 85 percent of full-time workers have health insurance now, and a 1978 federal law already requires that employer-provided insurance generally must “cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions.”
The president’s opponents heaped ridicule on the (nearly) cradle-to-grave philosophy of government embodied in the “Julia” infographic. We’ll stay out of that debate, and just focus on the factual assumptions made or implied.
Read the rest at FactCheck.org : ‘The Life of Julia,’ Corrected.
Obama’s ‘Life of Julia:’ misleading on Social Security
“Under President Obama: Julia retires. After years of contributing to Social Security, she receives monthly benefits that help her retire comfortably, without worrying that she’ll run out of savings. This allows her to volunteer at a community garden.
“Under Mitt Romney: Julia’s benefits could be cut by 40%.”
— Text from Obama campaign’s “Life of Julia” infographic
The Obama campaign’s “Life of Julia” infographic is a fascinating attempt by President Obama to demonstrate the real-life consequences of political choices — to show how the various bills passed by Congress and signed into law by a president can affect individuals during their lives.
Already, a philosophical dispute has erupted as to whether the story of Julia demonstrates how Democrats believe people must rely on the government for help from cradle to grave. We will leave that question to the pundits.
We also will not dive deeply into some of the assertions in this graphic. Much of it relies on assumptions about the House Republican budget, which because it has not spelled out spending cuts in detail — like all congressional budget resolutions — the Obama campaign simply assumes an across-the-board 20 percent cut in domestic spending. You also have to believe that Republican Mitt Romney would rubber-stamp everything in that budget if he became president.
But we will examine the claim about Social Security because it is a good example of a campaign trick of comparing specifics vs. an unrealistic perfect. For more on the basics of Social Security, please read our Social Security primer.
PolitiFact | Barack Obama’s “Life of Julia” tool says Mitt Romney would allow student loan rates to double
The Obama campaign claims that loan rates would double on Julia under Romney and the Ryan budget. But the evidence suggests otherwise.
Romney opposes allowing the rates to double, and House Republicans — including Ryan — have voted to stop it from happening. Their approach to pay for the extension may not suit the White House, but it’s inaccurate to say the rates would double. We rate the claim False.
Top Ten Julia Tweets from Conservatives On Twitter
10.) Dana Loesch: OH: “Does anyone else notice that Obama is president for all of #Julia‘s life?”
9.) PolitixGal: Under Obama, #Julia can’t drive because gas prices have doubled, she can’t find a job & instead waits by the mailbox 4 Obama cash 2 arrive.
8.) mkhammer: 2-4-6-8! Every woman a ward of the state! #julia
7.) CaseyGeorge: #Julia died at age 78. She voted Democrat until age 92
6.) Sean Agnew: lemme guess… #Julia wants free contraceptives.
5.) Prudence Paine: in the life of #Julia, she quickly becomes a debt slave to the Chinese. good luck with the one-child policy!
4.) Teri Christoph: Is it me or does #Julia have “high cheekbones”?
3.) MattCover: Age 23: #Julia graduates. There are no jobs. Thanks to Obama, Julia can live comfortably in her parents’ basement.
2.) David Burge: #Julia “at 37, Julia completes her Masters degree in Interactive Website Design. At 43, she gets a job pulling a solar powered rickshaw.”
1.) Derek Hunter: By age 40 #Julia has written 2 autobiographies even though she’s accomplished nothing. Wait, that was Obama. Julia is still unemployed.