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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Newsmax's Faulty Dismemberment Plan
Topic: Newsmax

An unbylined Jan. 23 Newsmax article carries the headline "Krauthammer Dismembers Obamacare's Promised Deficit 'Reduction'." It rehashes Charles Krauthammer's Washington Post column in which he found the numbers behind the claim that repealing health care reform would increase the deficit, in Newsmax's words, "laughable."

Provocactive headline aside -- so much for cooling down that violent rhetoric -- the only thing being dismembered here is Newsmax's journalistic integrity, through its uncritical presentation of Krauthammer's assertions as fact. For instance, Newsmax writes:

The entitlement it creates — government-subsidized health insurance for 32 million Americans — doesn't kick in until 2014. That means that any projection for this decade would cover only six years of expenditures but capture 10 years of revenue. “With 10 years of money inflow vs. six years of outflow, the result is a positive — i.e., deficit-reducing — number. Surprise,” Krauthammer points out.

In fact, as Media Matters points out, Krauthammer's claim that health care reform front-loads revenues and backloads spending is false.

Newsmax also asserts that, according to Krauthammer, "Obamacare actually creates two new entitlements that will cost Americans for decades to come if the law isn’t repealed." But one of those programs, the CLASS Act, isn't actually an entitlement at all; it's a voluntary program funded by its participants.

Newsmax might to be a little more careful with that ax next time, lest what gets dismembered its its own credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EST

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