In the tweet posted from her official social media account, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the government could have easily paid for the healthcare scheme if Pentagon accounting errors were corrected and the money applied to her agenda. The representative-elect said this money could have been used to fund two thirds of the $32 trillion cost of Medicare for All-an estimate published by the Urban Institute. Ocasio-Cortez ran on a platform advocating for a $15 baseline minimum wage, and called the current situation a "disgrace".
"$21 TRILLION of Pentagon financial transactions 'could not be traced, documented, or explained.' $21T in Pentagon accounting errors".
"That means 66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon", she added.
"Ocasio-Cortez is not the first Twitter user to mangle information from a news report", the Post wrote.
But her growing rapport with voters and many media outlets has not saved her from a scathing policy evaluation from The Washington Post, which has branded a recent Twitter post about health care funding "badly flawed".
"The $21 trillion is not one big pot of dormant money collecting dust somewhere". But, as Rizzo explained, Ocasio-Cortez did not make this distinction, even though The Nation article cited in her tweet did. "It's the sum of all transactions - both inflows and outflows - for which the Defense Department did not have adequate documentation", the fact-checker wrote.
It is not the first time that Ocasio-Cortez has drawn attention to the high cost of living and inequality in the US capital.
Rizzo also noted that Skidmore's figures cover 17 years of Pentagon activity, while the Urban Institute's $32 trillion Medicare plan estimate spans only 10 years, so the two numbers are not directly comparable anyway. "But it's unconvincing to try to pass this off as a rhetorical point being misread".
"That's a direct comparison", they continued. "So we will award Four Pinocchios to Ocasio-Cortez", it said.