• Media madness, ACA edition

    I was at the gym this morning, on the treadmill, when I saw a spot on Fox about a family that could not find a policy for their 1 1/2 year old. They were, of course, blaming Obamacare. I usually try not to let this stuff get to me, but I was caught off guard. They were claiming that their insurance company will not insure a child under the age of 2. Because of Obamacare. A few thoughts, in no particular order:

    1) Every statement they were making was accompanied with a disclaimer on the screen that basically said “this is what the private insurance rep told us”. In other words, they took the word of a person working on behalf of a private company at their word as to how the ACA functions. No fact checking at all. Their one quote from the NY dept of health states that all children are covered in family plans. In other words, the statement from the government completely discredits the whole story. But no matter.

    2) There is no way – no way at all – that this 1 1/2 year old could not be insured under the ACA come January 1. They will get Medicaid, at least. Of course, these people looked upper-middle class to me, so it’s likely they will get exchange insurance for their child.

    3) There is no “too young to be insured” in the ACA. None.

    4) These parents have already had their problem resolved. They claim that it was only after they “went public” that it was fixed. I don’t see how that’s true. But it’s ALREADY OVER. Yet the story is presented as if it’s happening now.

    5) I’m sorry, but I find it somewhat hypocritical that only now, after decades of about 50 million people being uninsured every year, that suddenly the media is outraged by stories of people (healthy, mind you) having difficulties finding insurance. Really? Suddenly this is an issue? Didn’t seem like it before… AND THIS STORY IS ALREADY RESOLVED. AND LIKELY NOT ENTIRELY TRUE.

    I know I need to just suffer through this for a while. But it’s becoming frustrating.


    • I share your frustration. In discussions with conservatives over this stuff I keep getting professions of anger and outrage that some of these people might be out of insurance for a few days, and I agree that for the very few times this happens we should be outraged. However, ask these same conservatives to express even a hint of outrage, concern or compassion over the millions who cannot obtain any insurance, and you hear crickets.


    • Oh come on, watching Faux, what did you expect, facts? Consistency? You were expecting maybe nuanced and honest academic discourse?

      A few nights ago, I had dinner with someone whose employer told him that medical insurance rates were going up next year “because of Obamacare”. For a Massachusetts college.

    • Thank for returning my focus to your point #5, WTHeck suddenly someone care if another person has health insurance? Totally lost site of that reality.

    • Does anyone know whether any studies are being done that measure perceptions and news source with respect to the Affordable Care Act? (I’m thinking of the kind of scholarly research reported here about public (mis)perceptions concerning the Iraq War based on news source:

      It would be interesting to know.

    • You’re dismayed to learn that Fox publishes blatant lies? That’s like being dismayed to learn that gravity makes things fall.

      By now, I thought everyone understood that’s what Fox does. They publish lies for profit.

    • Of course the media reports fake “news” without any effort at verification. But we should think about the larger implications for a moment. Here we have a very bright, super well-informed guy who is struck by all the falsehoods in a piece about a subject he knows backwards and forwards. What are the rest of us left with, let alone in areas where we have no particular expertise? it’s scary, to me at least, to realize how terrible we are being served by the media in 21st century America.

      There is Aaron, probably pedaling or jogging away, idly watching a screen in front of him. Why not pure entertainment, labeled as such? He’d watch that as easily I’m sure. I would. Or, why not label Fox News (and all the other “news” channels too) for what they are? Entertainment.

      It’s the false labeling I object to.

    • The News is ion the business of selling ads and that often creates problems like this.

    • The problem here is that you can’t mistake Fox News for a legitimate news organization. God knows the other networks have issues….lots and lots and lots of issues, starting with the fact that they’re commercial TV news organizations and going from there.

      But it’s important to remember that all the other big four networks are primarily news operations. Despite a generation of cutbacks and declining ratings, they are run and staffed by people who are committed to doing journalism. They often (some could argue usually) fail to do a good job.

      Fox News is not the same. It’s purpose is advocacy. It does a pretty good job.