March 24th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government’s TimesCheck.com has released an analysis of the coverage The New York Times has given to the healthcare legislation that has now been signed into law.
“White House spinsters have understandably focused on hard luck insurance cases that readers can empathize with as a way of selling an unpopular proposal,” said Kevin Mooney, editor of TimesCheck.com. “But, it is not the job of news media to simply repeat and parrot back emotional appeals that do not cut into the substance of ObamaCare.”
Mooney said recent articles have focused more on anecdotal stories that involve individual instances of financial hardship, while avoiding any discussion of the bill’s merits.
Although the reports call attention to insurance issues and financial challenges that are relevant to healthcare consumers, Mooney said “they omit key facts that would provide readers with greater perspective and context.”
Mooney continued, “For example, it is not accurate to suggest that without insurance there is no access to healthcare. In fact, it is already possible to offer direct payments, which doctors and hospitals gladly accept without the attending bureaucracy of insurance procedures. Moreover, existing law also makes it a requirement for anyone entering an emergency room to be treated regardless of their ability to pay.”
Mooney said that the Times “pretty much parroted the Democrat talking point equating health care access with civil rights.”
“Just one day after ObamaCare passed, The Times sought to equate the measure with the civil rights movement. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) figured prominently in this narrative given his prominent role as an advocate for equal rights in the past,” Mooney explained.
ALG President Bill Wilson called the Times comparison of the health care takeover to civil rights “disgraceful,” saying, “If editors want to make this argument, it belongs on the editorial page because it is highly debatable and questionable,” said Wilson. “The bill includes costly, coercive measures that in the eyes of many Americans actually subtract from individual liberty.”
Mooney also took a look at Times coverage of the court challenges now being filed against the individual mandate to purchase insurance imposed by the legislation. “The Gray Lady has fired an opening salvo against state officials who have announced that they will challenge the bill on a constitutional basis,” Mooney said.
Mooney added that “This is an important story worthy of coverage and its fine to quote scholars who are philosophically opposed to the state action. However, readers deserve greater exposure to legal arguments on the other side that show ObamaCare could in fact be derailed for violating accepted interpretations of the ‘Commerce Clause’ of the Constitution.”
Mooney concluded, “If the legal challenges lack merit, why is The New York Times so concerned?”