Paul Krugman pointed out—in the NY Times and referenced in a Salon.com article, what the administration has been saying and what many of has have suspected: Affordable Healthcare is working better than many suspected, though the evening is young, and better than the media have credited it for. His explanation for the media lack of interest—that they live in circles with no health insurance problems, falls short of the mark. That may be true, but the media snoozing goes much deeper. Let’s take a look:
1. The media today: newspaper chains, TV and radio network and TV cable news shows are the prime offenders, with internet websites and hardbound books showing a little more variety and interest in “Obamacare’s achievements” (of course there are plenty of websites and books that are critical of the President’s Health plan
2. Many newspapers are fighting for their lives, and they and the news shows are dependent upon advertising, upon maximizing readership and listenership—stands to reason that with the avalanche of money and a history of conservative aversion to socialized medicine, the those outlets must tread lightly—and also reflect at least Somewhat the 40% of their readers who may be hardcore conservatives and who have bought the pitch that Affordable healthcare is going to be a bad deal
2. The media move to the right—Mother Jones,The Nation, MSNBC are not typical—going back to Reagan has send out long and hearty green tendrils of “fair and balanced”—usually meaning balancing a hard right conservative against a milder left of center writer or talking head… this is not just about healthcare, although Krugman is certainly right about the NEWS not noticing the Obama Plan’s “failure to fail”
3. It is also about the muffled treatment of immigration reform, education, climate change and fuel, bank regulation, income inequality, the amnesia about taxation to pay for government services, race and “postracialism”, defense spending and, to a lesser extent, much misguided wasting of blood and treasure of the 21st C. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
4. The canary in the mineshaft for this blogger is the news coverage and commentary on Public Radio (NPR), which has become blander and more centrist even as it has moved out of dependence on government funding; it may be the one set of news broadcasts (All Things Considered, etc.) where the listeners are to the left of the commentators.
The substance of Krugman’s other arguments: e.g., that many of the dire risk prediction have not come to pass; that, it’s a remarkable thing — an immense policy success is improving the lives of millions of Americans, but it’s largely slipping under the radar, will have to be taken up in later blog-posts. The New Republic is an example of a magazine—and one hardly in the cheering gallery for Obama on a regular basis—had a piece in April that indicated: “We are impressed”… , it’s a remarkable thing — an immense policy success is improving the lives of millions of Americans, but it’s largely slipping under the radar. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117454/obamacare-enrollment-gives-democrats-space-promote-popular-agenda . This article also deals with the impact of the Plan’s successes for Democrat election prospects this fall, although that part seems more problematic now in mid -July..
A less favorable picture of the Obama law’s practical success can be found at the American Enterprise Institute’s website, July 7th. . http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/07/what-we-learned-about-obamacare-july-1-7-2014/ . In fact, we may have to adjust our characterization of the internet (specifically google-search) media coverage as offering relatively more choices and less influence by any one interest or interest group. “It all depends on what search words you type in”, but Obama Care Report Card July 1914, Affordable Healthcare Assessed, Obamacare Assessed and several similar keywords yielded a Negative view of the law and its implementation to date at a ratio of about 8 to 1 over Positive ones. It would seem that Talk Radio is not the only “open forum” dominated by conservative opinion leaders. For comfort, progressives/ Obama supporters might turn to Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/study-obamacare-reduces-uninsured-rate-2014-7
or Rick Unger in, of all place FORBES online at http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/05/23/more-solid-proof-that-obamacare-is-working/2/ .