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Monday, August 15, 2011
Newsmax's Patten Misleads About Health Care Reform Ruling
Topic: Newsmax

An Aug. 12 Newsmax article by David Patten promotes the 11th Circuit U.S. Couirt of Appeals ruling against the individual mandate in President Obama's health care reform law, citing various "experts" to inveigh against the law and in favor of the ruling. But all of Patten's "experts" are conservatives not identified as such, Patten ignores another appellate court ruling in favor of the reform law, and he misleads about the nature of how judges have ruled on the law.

Patten quotes "healthcare expert" Betsy McCaughey -- a longtime serial misleader on health care reform -- asserting that the ruling is "a very important day for all Americans who care about individual liberty, and a very important day for those who are concerned about the economic growth urgently needed by this nation" and that it "effectively puts the brakes on cash-strapped states’ implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." But Patten buries the fact that the Sixth Circuit federal appeals court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the law in June, writing only that "In June, a Cincinnati court ruled in favor of the law in a case brought by the Thomas More Law Center." Patten failed to identify that ruling as coming from a federal appellate court, just like the 11th Circuit ruling.

Newsmax published no analysis of that ruling, only a short AP article.

Patten wrote the "Cincinnati court" ruling "was notable because one of the judges in the majority was a Republican," adding:

So far, federal judges in Florida and Virginia have ruled against the Act, while judges in Michigan and Virginia upheld it. Judges appointed by Democrats have consistently upheld the law, while Republican judges generally ruled against it. But Friday, one Republican judicial appointee and one Democratic judicial appointee concurred that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

As Patten hinted but didn't explain, just like in the 11th Circuit, the Sixth Circuit ruling had a Republican-appointed judge and a Democratic-appointed judge in concurrence in favor of the law. Indeed, that Republican judge was appointed by President Bush with 41 Senate Democrats voting against him.

As we've detailed, Patten as a long history of slavishly following conservative talking points in his reporting.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT

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