Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
LAT’s James Rainey takes the media to task on critical elements on the health care debate:
Rather than try to explain to its viewers how such a commission might control Medicare costs, CNN cut away to an all-important update on . . . Alberto Contador’s ongoing war of words with fellow cyclist Lance Armstrong.
By all means, let’s recap the story of two big-name jocks man-slapping each other, rather than help Americans sort out the central domestic issue (Snore!) of the moment.
America has a healthcare crisis, yes, and so do broad segments of the media, particularly television news. They have transformed the story of how to fix an overpriced and inadequate care system into an overheated political scrum, with endless chatter about deadlines and combatants and very little about the kind of medical care people get and how it might change.
And Dean Baker provides perspective on costs:
The program’s huge price tag is equal to about 0.5 percent of projected GDP over the next decade. The Iraq war at its peak cost more than 1.0 percent of GDP. NPR and other news outlets rarely, if ever, referred to the “huge” cost of this war, which was twice the “huge” cost of President Obama’s health care program. Perhaps the decision of supposedly neutral media sources to constantly warn that the costs of the program are “huge” has something to do with its dwindling public support.