The Buzz

December 11, 2013

Fact check: How often did Obama and Sebelius REALLY meet?

Let the record show it was more often than a Politico column suggested

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

A column on Politico last week

that concluded that President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius never met in the run-up to the rollout of Obamacare is false, a Time Magazine analysis concludes.

The Politico story said that a review of the president’s public schedule showed that between July 12, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2013, that the two had a total of zero one-on-one meetings.

But a Time review of that story

suggests that Politico used the wrong data set.

“She is frequently at the White House for meetings related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including dozens with the President in the last year alone,” Joanne Peters, an HHS spokeswoman told Time.

The problem with the Politico writer’s analysis is this: Cabinet secretaries who regularly come to the White House are not always recorded in the White House visitors log or listed on the president’s public schedule.

Exactly how often the two did meet has not been revealed.

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