Feb 11, 2017

Pro-Obamacare crowd shouts down false "death panel" claim

Rep. Gus Bilirakis had to mediate between loud, angry Obamacare supporters and opponents of the law at his town hall in Florida today.

But nothing compared to the moment when Bill Akins, the secretary of the Republican Party of Pasco County, revived the old, false death panel claim and got shouted down by the law's supporters, per the video below:

"There is a provision in there that anyone over the age of 74 has to go before what is effectively a death panel," Akins told the crowd. When they erupted in boos and jeers, he responded: "OK, children! All right, children."

Fact check: There is no such provision in there. The "death panel" claim won PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" award in 2009, and the crowd's response makes it clear that Obamacare supporters are fighting harder against those kinds of statements than they did when the law was passed.

How Bilirakis responded: CNN's Eric Bradner tweeted that Bilirakis gave Akins some support: "There IS an IPAB board put in place by the ACA." That's a reference to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is supposed to recommend ways to cut Medicare spending if it grows too fast.

Fact check: Republicans and some Democrats have targeted it for elimination for years, but it specifically says the board can't recommend any health care rationing, and it doesn't exist yet because Medicare spending hasn't grown fast enough to need it.

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The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.