Obamacare’s First Two Days and the Media Spin Cycle

Posted on October 3, 2013. Filed under: Government, Obamacare | Tags: , |

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“Journalists” today (and I use that term loosely) do not know how to objective anymore. Every time a story is run, the author of the piece always injects their opinion into it, rather than reporting the facts.

Take this Associated Press piece, for example: Pressure mounts to fix health insurance exchanges.

The story is about the number of glitches the health care exchange website and phone banks have endured. It didn’t take long for the author(s) to inject their opinions (second paragraph):

In some ways, the delays that persisted Wednesday were good news for President Barack Obama and supporters of his signature domestic policy achievement because the holdups showed what appeared to be exceptionally high interest in the overhauled insurance system. But if the glitches aren’t fixed quickly, they could dampen enthusiasm for the law at the same time Republicans are using it as a rallying cry to keep most of the federal government closed.

The authors suggest that high interest equals high enrollment, but that is not the case at all. There is high interest because, since it is “mandatory” that people buy insurance, people are going to want to know how much it may cost them. High interest means a lot of people are checking it out, not that there is a lot of “enthusiasm” as the reporters claim.

They also take the opportunity to blame Republicans for using Obamacare to keep the government closed, rather than blaming Obama and Senate Democrats for their refusal to negotiate.

If you look further down the piece, you find three items of interest.

Number one:

“I’m anxious to see what the insurance is going to look like for my family at the beginning of the year,” [Pastor David] Berge said. “That’s a big unknown right now. I want to figure that out as soon as possible so we can begin planning.”

Not enrollment, but curiosity and planning.

Number 2:

Agency spokeswoman Joanne Peters said many Americans successfully enrolled on the first day, but she declined to put a number on it. She said the delays were due to “overwhelming interest” and high volume.

Here’s the rub. If a large number of people had enrolled, they would be shouting it from the rooftops. By “declining to put a number on it”, it suggests that enrollment was disappointing.

Number 3:

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, said the law also known as Obamacare was working well because his state embraced the health reform law early on instead of fighting it. The state processed 373 applications for coverage by the end of Wednesday.

Three hundred seventy three applications by the end of the first two days, in a state with a population of 3.59 million.

I wouldn’t exactly call that “embracing”, but what do I know?

The Obama administration hopes to sign up 7 million people in the first year. For the 6 month enrollment period, that would be about 40,000 people a day, not an impossible mark.

The authors, at this point, claim that 50 million people are uninsured. Ever since 2010, this has been a moving target, changing from 30 million in 2010 when the law was passed, to 19 million, to 49 million, back to 20 million, and now up to 50 million.  No one bothers to ask how many of those people are here illegally.  When anyone starts throwing numbers like these around, just ignore them, because no one truly knows.

By the end of the piece, they do the snow job that the White House has asked them to do, like good little soldiers.

Under the law, health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to someone with a pre-existing medical condition and cannot impose lifetime caps on coverage. They also must cover a list of essential services, ranging from mental health treatment to maternity care.

Essential services ranging from mental health to maternity care. Well, there’s a comprehensive and complete list for you. That’s pure laziness and poor editing. Notice that they didn’t say that you have to have alcohol and drug treatment coverage, even if you don’t drink (or use drugs). Do you have to carry smoking cessation coverage, even if you don’t smoke? Do I have to carry maternity care even though I can’t get pregnant?

Yes, yes, yes. We all know by now that pre-existing conditions cannot be denied, a noble thing. Why not pass a law that says insurance can’t deny pre-existing conditions instead of a monstrous law that requires all of us to spend up to half our paychecks for insurance?

Why no mention of how costs, and deductibles are skyrocketing?

Oh yeah, that would be casting the law in a negative light.

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