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Thursday, July 16, 2009
Examiner's Health Care Report Biased, Misleading
Topic: Washington Examiner

A four-page July 9 Washington Examiner "special report" on health care is devoted solely to attacking President Obama's plans for health care reform. Following the Examiner's dictate eliminating non-conservative opinion from the paper, no supporter of Obama's plans is permitted to respond to any of the claims made. Most people would call that a violation of journalistic ethics.

Not only did the Examiner farm out its criticism to its fellow right-wingers -- at least two articles are nothing more than talking points copied from the Heritage Foundation -- the "special report" repeats misleading claims and  hides details about critics.

The misleading begins with Mark Tapscott's introductory editorial carrying the headline, "Do we want doctors, nurses to be government employees?" Tapscott offers no evidence that that would in fact happen under Obama's reform proposals. Tapscott also asserts that Obama plans on "nationalizing health care" and cites "fear that a government-run system in the U.S. will ration health care, just as has happened in Canada, Britain, France and other countries with such systems."In fact, Obama has specifically rejected a health care system like Canada's or Britain's.

An article by Joseph R. Antos asserted that -- under the heading of "$1 trillion," what Antos claims "Democrats have decided" health care reform should cost over the next decade -- "according to the CBO ... Sen. Ted Kennedy’s reform proposal would cover only an additional 16 million people. That works out to $62,500 for each newly insured person." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office analysis to which Antos is referring was an incomplete assessment that did not analyze the cost of a public option, considered a key to Democrats' reform plans. Antos made no reference, however, to a more complete July 2 CBO assessment of the current version of Kennedy's bill -- even though it was released a week before this column was published --  found that the bill, including the public option, would cost $611 billion over 10 years and cover 97 percent of Americans.

Further, an article by Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute described the group only as "a nonprofit research organization focusing on patient-centered solutions to health reform." In fact, Galen is funded by the pharmaceutical and medical industries -- information relevant to readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT

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