KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Calif. Nonprofit Provides Grant To Get TV Shows To Include Stories About Health Law

The California Endowment is giving $500,000 to ensure TV episodes add stories about the need to enroll in health coverage under the health law.

The Associated Press: Hollywood Targeted To Give Affordable Care Act A Boost With TV Story Lines About The New Law
The health care overhaul might get a Hollywood rewrite. The California Endowment, a private foundation that is spending millions to promote President Barack Obama’s signature law, recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure TV writers and producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can be stitched into plot lines watched by millions. The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success (Blood and Cohen, 11/4).

Meanwhile, The New York Times notes an interesting association between CNN's ratings and the problems with the health care website.

The New York Times: CNN Ratings Fall As Health Care Coverage Rises
CNN provided heavy coverage last week of the troubled introduction of the website tied to the Affordable Care Act. The result was the lowest weekly ratings for CNN in more than a year. Did that mean people didn't want to hear wall-to-wall coverage of the failure of the site? Maybe not, if they were viewers already committed to the one of the partisan corners: Both Fox News and MSNBC did far better last week, with heavy coverage of issues related to the health care law. But CNN, which led most of its news hours last week with reporting related to the site's inadequacies, drew little interest from viewers, even on the day that Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, testified in Congress and took many hostile questions from Republican representatives (Carter, 11/4).

But opponents of the law are also working hard to get their message out. Monday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made such a pitch.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Obamacare Is Flawed, Jeb Bush Says At Milwaukee Event
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday that President Barack Obama's health care law "is flawed to its core" and will be a "big problem" for Democrats heading into the 2014 elections. "I don't think it will work," Bush said of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Bush added, "If the objective is, don't worry about the budget, we'll just finance it the same way we're financing our deficits right now, build a bigger debt, you could see this thing surviving," he said (11/4).

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