FACT CHECK: Claims from the Democratic debate
Seven Democratic presidential contenders staged their final debate before contests in South Carolina and Super Tuesday deliver more than one-third of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
A look at how their claims in Charleston on Tuesday night compare with the facts:
MIKE BLOOMBERG, responding to Elizabeth Warren’s demand that he lift non-disclosure agreements for all women who signed them: “We are doing that, senator.”
THE FACTS: He hasn’t done that.
Bloomberg agreed to release three women from non-disclosure agreements in situations where they specifically identified an issue with him. But many more former Bloomberg employees have signed such agreements, having to do with the culture and work environment at his company. He hasn’t freed them from their obligation to stay quiet about their complaints.
BERNIE SANDERS: “What every study out there — conservative or progressive — says, ‘Medicare for All’ will save money.”
THE FACTS: Not true. Some studies say that, some don’t.
Sanders, a Vermont senator, cites a recent medical journal article in The Lancet, which estimated “Medicare for All” would save more than $450 billion annually, or about 13%.
But other studies have found a Sanders-like single-payer plan would cost more, partly because free health care would increase the demand for services.
A study last fall from the Commonwealth Fund and the Urban Institute estimated that such a plan would increase national health spending by about $720 billion.
A Rand study estimated spending would increase 1.8% under a national single-payer plan.
AMY KLOBUCHAR: “I am the author of the bill to close the boyfriend loophole that says that domestic abusers can’t go out and get an AK-47.”
JOE BIDEN: “I wrote that law.”
KLOBUCHAR: “You didn’t write that bill, I wrote that bill.”
BIDEN: “I wrote the bill, the Violence Against Women Act, that took (guns) out of the hands of people who abused their wife.”
KLOUBCHAR: “OK, we’ll have the fact check look at this.”
BIDEN: “No, let’s look at the fact check. The only thing (is) that that boyfriend loophole was not covered, I couldn’t get that covered. You, in fact, as a senator tried to get it covered and Mitch McConnell is holding it up on his desk right now.”
THE FACTS: Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, correctly called out the former vice president for seeming to take credit for legislation closing the “boyfriend loophole.” Biden conceded the point, then correctly pointed out that the loophole has not been eliminated in law.
In short, Biden did write the legislation that became the Violence Against Women Act, one of his most prominent achievements. The 1994 law sets out services and specific protections for victims of domestic violence.
Klobuchar took the lead in the Senate on legislation passed by the House that would extend the law’s protections to help women who are threatened by abusive partners who are not a spouse, ex-spouse or parent of a common child — in other words, boyfriends or dating partners. But that effort, opposed by the National Rifle Association, has been hung up in the Senate.
Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Matthew Daly, Calvin Woodward and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.