Florida Scholars Criticize Media Coverage Of Health Reform
Journalism researchers criticized media coverage of the health care bills saying it may have added to consumers' confusion, Health News Florida reports. "Very little broadcast time or print space has been devoted to explaining, point-by-point, the major parts of the legislation, say three top researchers in the field from University of Florida, Florida State University and University of South Florida. ... With a few exceptions including the New York Times and National Public Radio 'the news media haven't done a great job of covering the health care reform debates,' said Kim Walsh-Childers, UF journalism professor. (Disclosure: She is a member of Health News Florida's board of directors.) Walsh-Childers said many Americans get their information from talk radio or blogs, 'which are far less likely to provide balanced, complete information than are traditional news outlets, especially newspapers'" (Gentry, 1/29).
Meanwhile, NPR offer an expert view on a different topic: the current legislative state of reform efforts and the specifics of budget reconciliation, a budget procedure that some lawmakers have suggested to help get the health overhaul passed because it eliminates the threat of a veto in the Senate. "But reconciliation wasn't designed as a vehicle for controversial policy change, and it's no silver bullet. Host Guy Raz gets a reconciliation primer from Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Binder notes that the reconciliation process is complicated and highly regulated. She says, "It's not quite clear that all of health care reform -- say, banning insurance companies from imposing pre-existing condition limits -- it's not clear that all of health care reform can actually fit under and be kosher under the reconciliation process" (Raz, 1/30).