There's lots of people talking about the policy
implications of what's going on at Senate Finance Committee's meetings on health insurance reform. It's clear these guys are selling us a crock of shit and calling it gold. So I want to just talk about the puff piece in NYT
for a moment.
They tell us a lot of things here. Reading it through, I know who is around the table. I know what the table looks like. I'm well informed about what junk food they're eating while they're sitting at the table and what flavor of coffee they drink. I know that, "just like kids in school" the senators have claimed certain seats. I even know what color the room is painted. I know who the power players are and how jovial the exchanges are between them.
The most important newspaper in America tells me they're working on "possibly the most complex legislation in modern history." They're talking about such lofty subjects as "the actuarial values of private insurance plans or the cost-sharing provisions of Medicare." I have the whole list of provisions, that's been circulating for weeks, on what's in and what's out from the previous incarnations of the bill. Public option - out. Resurrecting the failed HMO model of regional groups - back in. Employer mandates - out. Small tax bump for millionaires - out.
I have lots of information about the politics of the negotiations. What I don't have is any context. Not one detail that explains "the complexity." No comparison between the cost benefit of a public option versus the HMO model. No expert opinion on the potential effects of eliminating employer mandates. No projection on how much money could be raised by keeping the tax bump on millionaires, nor the real dollar amount of the bump, which I believe would only be a few thousand dollars.
But I didn't find that out from our elite legacy media. I read that on a blog. Just as it was a blog that reminded me this committee, that holds the future of health care in its hands, is being run by six guys who represent only 2.74 of the population
. Truthfully, I can't recall a single article in any mainstream media that gave me practical facts of this nature.
The MSM loves to blame bloggers for their demise, and you know what -- it's true. But not because bloggers are cribbing from their work. It's because bloggers are doing the work
they won't do. The MSM has become a fact free zone in the name of "neutrality." The only way facts ever enter their narrative is when bloggers amplify them to the point where they can no longer ignore it.
When we end up with a reform plan that's worse than the status quo, it won't be just the politicians to blame. The media's failure to inform is weapon the pols will use to kill any meaningful change.
[More posts daily at The Detroit News
Labels: Corporatocracy, health care, Media, policy, politics, Senate