Fact check: President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address


New Intel jobs at Ohio semiconductor factory will pay average of $130K, “and many do not require a college degree”

Claim: “Outside of Columbus, Ohio, Intel is building semiconductor factories on a thousand acres – literally a field of dreams. It’s going to create 10,000 jobs — that one investment: 7,000 construction jobs, 3,000 jobs once the factories are finished – they call them factories. Jobs paying an average of $130,000 a year, and many do not require a college degree.”

Fact check: Likely to be true

Details: Intel announced in a statement in January that the company will invest more than $20 billion in construction for new chip factories in Ohio. The chip manufacturer said that the factories will create “3,000 Intel jobs and 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build.” The Columbus Dispatch cited Intel in its news report saying that the average wage at the factories would be $135,000.

The Dispatch said that Intel hadn’t provided a breakdown of the jobs, but it referred to a Bureau of Labor Statistics model that forecast 1,441 of the jobs and kinds of workers who might fill those jobs at the plant. “[M]ore than half, including technicians, assemblers, supervisors and machinists, require only a high school degree,” the Dispatch said of the model’s estimate.

By Jack Turman


“We’re finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices.”

Claim: “We’re finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. Bringing down prescription drug costs doesn’t just save seniors money: it cuts the federal deficit, by billions of dollars, by hundreds of billions of dollars because these prescription drugs are drugs purchased by Medicare to keep their commitment to the seniors.”

Fact Check: True

Details: President Biden is referring to the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which he signed in August 2022. It includes provisions that requires the federal government to negotiate prices for higher-cost prescription drugs under Medicare, institutes a yearly cap for out-of-pocket prescription drug costs in Medicare and continues to lower health insurance premiums on state-based marketplaces. It also requires drug companies that raise prices in excess of the inflation rate to pay rebates to Medicare. 

Notably, it limits cost-sharing for insulin, so that Medicare recipients pay no more than $35 per month. This impacts not just seniors, but roughly 3.3 million Medicare Part D enrollees who need insulin. 

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the law overall, which includes these prescription drug provisions, would reduce the deficit by $237 billion from 2022 through 2031. 

By Aaron Navarro


Nearly 25% of national debt added by Trump administration

Claim: “Nearly 25% of the entire national debt, that took 200 years to accumulate, was added by [the Trump] administration alone, the last one.”

Fact check: True, with the caveat that the coronavirus pandemic struck during Donald Trump’s presidency

Details: The current national debt is about $31.4 trillion dollars. According to figures tracked by the Treasury Department, the national debt rose about $7.8 trillion during the four years that Trump was president, representing 24.8% of the total national debt. 

However, it’s important to note that almost $4 trillion dollars of this debt was added to combat the COVID-19 pandemic — spending that was passed with bipartisan support. 

By Bo Erickson


Oil companies made $200 billion in midst of global energy crisis

Claim: “Big oil just reported its record profits. Last year they made $200 billion in the midst of a global energy crisis.”

Fact check: Seems to be true, although companies were not identified.

DetailsGlobal oil companies have rebounded since the pandemic to post their highest ever profits since people started using petroleum. Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Shell all reported record profits in 2022 — a year in which Russia’s war on Ukraine collided with the post-pandemic economic recovery to drive oil prices to their highest levels in history. 

President Biden did not identify the oil companies by name, but according to press releases and financial reports released by major oil companies, their net profits, listed below, show profits totaling over $200 billion. 

By Willie James Inman and Irina Ivanova


800,000 jobs in manufacturing created?

Claim: “We’ve already created — [with] your help — 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs, the fastest growth in 40 years.”

Fact check: True

Details: Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that in the manufacturing sector, there were approximately 12,196,000 manufacturing employees when President Biden took office in January 2021. 

Preliminary data from the BLS says that there were approximately 12,999,000 manufacturing employees as of January 2023, which is around 800,000 higher. 

By Jack Turman


The cost of insulin

Claim: “One in 10 Americans has diabetes. Many of you in this chamber do, and in the audience. But every day, millions need insulin to control their diabetes so they can literally stay alive. Insulin has been around for over 100 years. The guy who invented it didn’t even patent it because he wanted it to be available for everyone. It costs the drug companies, roughly, $10 a vial to make that insulin.”

Fact check: True

Details:  According to the Center for Disease Control and PreventioNational Diabetes Statistics Report, “37.3 million Americans — about 1 in 10 — have diabetes.”

More precisely, as of June 2022, 11.3% of the U.S. adult population have diabetes. Some 28.7 million people across the country have been diagnosed with diabetes, while 8.5 million have gone undiagnosed with the disease.

Insulin, a hormone used to treat diabetes in certain patients, was first discovered over 100 years ago in 1922 and “marked a major breakthrough in medicine and therapy in patients with diabetes,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

And although there is no definitive data on the exact cost of producing a vial of the lifesaving treatment, severanews articles reference a 2018 peer-reviewed article from BMJ Global Health that estimates the cost to be about $10 per vial, although some experts indicate it could be a bit higher. It is clear that insulin costs far less than what some drug companies have charged in the past.

By Robert Legare

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