A”fact check” that contradicts itself

A”fact check” that contradicts itself

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Read the headline: Did you hear Donald Trump say that doctors get more money for COVID deaths? Not true – oregonlive.com

Technically the fact check is almost correct – Trump did say in a tweet that doctors get more money for Covid deaths.

Most deaths in my state occur in institutionalized patients on Medicare. Once they are diagnosed with Covid-19, Medicare pays a +20% bonus. This is a fact.

Read the last sentences of this fact check:

The government provides 20% more for caring for Medicare patients with Covid-19.

That’s the gist of the issue – Medicare does pay +20% bonus to hospitals for each patient with a diagnosed condition of Covid-19. This was done, ostensibly, to pay for higher costs associated with treating a patient with an infectious disease – such as more PPE and other protocols.

Most patients are diagnosed before they die – and the hospital does indeed receive higher payments. Trump mangled the facts, as usual, but the gist of what he said is true – even according to the official fact check that says his statement is false 🙂

Trump should have said that hospitals receive a bonus for patients diagnosed with Covid-19 – which is true. The bonus is tied to diagnosis, not deaths. But since most people who die of Covid-19 in hospitals are elderly patients on Medicare, it is true that most who died did result in a bonus payment.

I have learned that media “fact checks” have long since degenerated into propaganda, promoting an agenda. Error prone fact checks are quite common. Another favorite trick is to take a statement and assume it applies to something similar – creating a “strawman” type argument. And then the fact check shoots down the “strawman” which sounds similar but is not precisely the original issue being “fact cheked”.

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