The corporate ‘lamestream’ media’s failure to inform the public on ‘ObamaCare’


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I saw some media villager on one of the cable shows the other night blaming the White House for its messaging on the Affordable Care Act aka "ObamaCare" as the reason for why the public is so ignorant about the law. Bullshit!

The corporate "lamesteam" media has been an abject failure from day one on informing the public and purveying misinformation and disinformation about the law. (Think of their focus on Tea Party antics inst4ead of the law). The media villagers do not get to absolve themselves of their sins and blame someone else — it's on you.

Two articles in the Washington Post today illustrate the corporate "lamestream" media's failure to inform the public on "ObamaCare." At the most basic level, media villager Chris Cillizza writes, The dirty little secret of Obamacare? Tons of people don't even know it's a law.

For all of the political rhetoric spent on President Obama’s health
care law — defund it! implement it! — there’s one fact that consistently
gets lost: Almost half of all Americans don’t know it’s the law of the land.

Yes, you read that last sentence right. In the Kaiser Family Foundation’s August tracking poll,
44 percent(!) said they were “unaware” of the current status of the
law. The bulk of those people — 31 percent — said they simply didn’t
know if the Affordable Care Act was law or not. Another eight percent
said the law had been overturned by Congress while five percent said it
had been overturned by the Supreme Court.


The Kaiser numbers affirm a point we have made many times in this space
before: Never assume that average people follow any of the policy and
political fights in D.C. with even one-hundredth the attention that the
inside-the-Beltway crowd does.

Of course, the media is absolved and it's all the public's fault: "If you want to make a safe bet in American politics, bet that the public
is paying less attention to politics than you think they are. Always."

Second, Jonathan Bernstein warns about the duplicitous media in Here comes more Obamacare misinformation:

Wow. National Journal really booted one today on the Affordable Care Act.

The National Journal analysis,
reported by Clara Ritger, claims that Republicans who claim that
Obamacare will raise insurance costs for consumers “might be right.”

For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will
be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying
for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal
analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket
expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles
under the Affordable Care Act.

Okay, take a minute and think about what this actually says. It says
nothing about people currently on the individual market who will stay on
the individual market. Nothing about people currently covered by
employer-connected insurance who will stay on employer-connected
insurance. Nothing about those with employer-connected insurance who
would be losing it anyway — a long-term trend that Ritger does mention
later in the article.

No, this is only about anyone who is dumped onto the new exchanges by
Obamacare. So to begin with, we’re only talking about a very small
sliver of all insurance customers.

Even for that group, however, the analysis appears to be completely
wrong, because it misses one key fact: Employers don’t provide health
insurance for employees out of some sort of weird altruism. They provide
health insurance as part of employee compensation. That compensation is
in the form of health insurance because it makes sense for both sides
(thanks to tax treatment of wages and benefits). If that changes — if
compensation through health insurance no longer saves both sides money —
what would presumably happen is that employers would either substitute
higher wages or other benefits. And yet National Journal apparently
doesn’t factor that in at all to its calculations.

In other words, all they’re saying here is that if employers react to
Obamacare by slashing compensation, then employees will be worse off.
Well, yes — but there’s no reason to believe that employers would be
able to do so any more after ACA than before.

I’m not an economist, so I’m not going to make any effort to estimate
what that does to the National Journal “analysis” — other than to
suggest it should be tossed in the garbage until we get a second and
better draft. Yeah, it appears to be that worthless.

As is most of the crappy reporting and analysis on the Affordable Care Act that I have read in Arizona print media over the past several months.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.