AP FACT CHECK: Claims from Dem debate opener, Night 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten Democrats seeking the presidency sparred on a Miami stage Thursday in the second night of the opening round of 2020 campaign debates.

Here’s a look at some of their statements and how they compare with the facts.

BERNIE SANDERS: “83 percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent.”

THE FACTS: That statistic is not close to true now. The Vermont senator is referring to 2027, not the present day. He didn’t include that critical context in his statement.

His figures come from an analysis by the Tax Policy Center . That analysis found that in 2027 the top 1% of earners would get 83% of the savings from the tax overhaul signed into law by President Donald Trump. Why is that? Simple: Most of the tax cuts for individuals are set to expire after 2025, so the benefits for everyone else simply go away. The 2017 tax overhaul does disproportionately favor the wealthy and corporations, but just 20.5% of the benefits went to the top 1% last year.

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SANDERS: Under Medicare for All, “the vast majority of the people in this country will be paying significantly less for health care than they are now.”

THE FACTS: Probably true, but that’s only part of the equation for a family. Sanders’ plan for a government-run health care system to replace private insurance calls for no premiums, and no copays and deductibles. But taxes would have to go up significantly as the government takes on trillions of dollars in health care costs now covered by employers and individuals. Independent studies estimate the government would be spending an additional $28 trillion to $36 trillion over 10 years, although Medicare for All supporters say that’s overstating it.

How those tax increases would be divvied up remains to be seen, as Sanders has not released a blueprint for how to finance his plan.

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Associated Press writers Josh Boak and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures

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