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Media Disseminated Myths about Obamacare

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Media Disseminated Myths about Obamacare - by Stephen Lendman

Pro or con, major media spin distorts, exaggerates, and lies to avoid key truths on this critically important issue. After the House passed HR 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act, a November 11 Nation magazine editorial (likely by editor, publisher, and part-owner Katrina vanden Heuvel) admitted the bill's faults, yet praised it saying:

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-- "something remarkable happened on November 7 when the House voted 220-215 for legislation that the Congressional Budget Office says will extend insurance coverage to 36 million uncovered Americans....in the House bill there is certainly something to work with, and something to fight for."

Earlier on MSNBC's Morning Joe, she hailed the moment as "a historic day....a victory in Congress....this is the most important piece of legislation we've seen in decades."

In a September 9 article titled, "Obama Shows His Progressive Spine," vanden Heuval praised his "plain-spoken, at times tough, and masterful address to a joint session of congress....about the importance of healthcare reform as a test of our nation's character."

Never mind how HR 3962's 1,990 pages ration care to enrich the insurance, drug and large hospital chain cartels that love it but want more. Insurers especially are lobbying furiously for its no public-option dream bill to give them an open field for millions more customers returning billions more profits.

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The drug cartel endorsed HR 3962 for the millions more customers it'll get, forced to pay 70% more on average than consumers in other OECD countries, according to a 2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) study.

On November 15, New York Times writer, Duff Wilson headlined, "Drug Makers Raise Prices in Face of Health Care Reform" in explaining that the industry raised wholesale brand name prices about 9% in the last year when the CPI fell 1.3%. According to industry analysts, it added more than $10 billion to the cost that will exceed $300 billion this year.

The RWJF study also showed insurance company administrative costs to be six times higher than in other developed countries. They go for marketing (including sales and advertising), claims processing, utilization review, high executive pay, and profits - providing no care, just needless costs that universal single-payer coverage can eliminate but won't because Congress won't touch it.

The New York Times Endorses Obamacare

Earlier this year, Times editorials expressed support. An August 8 one titled, "The Massachusetts Model" used false arguments in defense, not for improving the health of state residents, but to show "it is more than possible to insure (most of them) and stay within planned budgets," yet profit insurers hugely and will continue to because containing "rising costs....will take great creativity and political will."

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) called the Massachusetts Plan "A Failed Model for Health Care Reform" in a February 18, 2009 report stating:

"Back in 1988, Massachusetts passed a universal health care law very similar to the 2006" one mandating universal state coverage. "Since 1988, many states - Oregon, Minnesota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and Maine - have enacted (similar) reform aimed at achieving universal coverage. All failed."

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While differing in detail, they "shared comment elements. (They) offered new public subsidies or expanded Medicaid for poor and near-poor people. (They) left the majority of private health insurance arrangements undisturbed, although many included new insurance regulations or state purchasing pools to help make affordable coverage available to individuals or small businesses. Some (Massachusetts 1988, Oregon 1992, Washington State 1993) contained mandates on employers or self-employed individuals."

The reforms achieved no more than "a temporary dent in the number of uninsured. (They) failed because they did not include effective cost-control measures. (As they rose), legislatures backed off from forcing employers and the self-employed from paying ever-rising premiums and the mandates were repealed." The 2006 Massachusetts model faces the same challenges, and since enacted, many remain uninsured because coverage is unaffordable. PNHP stated:

Massachusetts "failed to ensure the availability of comprehensive plans at affordable prices. Despite the merging of the small group and individual insurance markets, which was expected to lower costs in the individual market, premiums continue to be unaffordable for even the least comprehensive (skimpiest) plans..The private insurance plans available through the Commonwealth Choice program can be extremely expensive....It is not surprising that many of the state's uninsured have declined such coverage."

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