St. Petersburg, Florida -- The deadline to sign up for mandated healthcare insurance may be midnight on Monday, but the issue will undoubtedly be kept alive for the November elections. One national pundit thinks Democrats should embrace the Affordable Care Act.
On a recent episode of his MSNBC program "The Ed Show," Ed Schultz said, "Democrats need to embrace Obamacare. Don't be afraid to run on it in the midterms."
And Schultz says the facts prove that four years after the program began, it's working.
"Health insurance costs and medical care costs fell sharply in January, ding, ding, ding," said Schultz. He added: "For the first time in decades, we finally have this: Health care costs are going down because of Obamacare."
Behind Schultz, a large chart showed the declines he was speaking about. He focused on the price index which measures the month to month spending and cost of healthcare. It showed insurance prices fell 0.4% in January and health services dropped 0.1%.
PunditFact decided to put Schultz's "facts" to the test.
"What you see is that it fluctuates mightily from month-to-month," says PunditFact editor Aaron Sharockman. "In fact a year ago in May, they had a huge decrease, and then generally prices went up. So experts say month-to-month changes really don't matter that much."
PunditFact says the other important point is that this particular price index measures the overall cost of healthcare. That includes what you pay and what health insurance companies pay.
"There are other ways you can measure this that actually show that healthcare costs have increased or stayed about flat," says Sharockman. "So there's a whole lot going on and it's a very complicated picture."
Punditfact found there is a grain of truth in Schultz's claim, but since a lot of things were left out it was rated MOSTLY FALSE.
One of the problems in the debate over the Affordable Care Act is that it takes a while for data to appear. The latest report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services describes what happened through 2012.