A feature article on health care, “New year means new challenges for health care law,” by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP, appeared in the Elmira Star-Gazette on Jan. 2, 2014. This is an informative article which discusses the promise of Obamacare as well as the challenges in a fair minded way. A Google search will produce links to several versions of Alonso-Zaldivar’s work.
Alonso-Zaldivar notes that the New Year may bring Republicans crowing “We told you so.” And in fact in the same paper, an opinion article, “Why is everyone surprised about Obamacare,” by Don Campbell, a “former Washington journalist and journalism educator,” provides a stark contrast. Campbell’s opinion is blatantly one-sided — loaded with unsupported charges, fighting words, and dire warnings. Campbell claims:
- Most Americans were satisfied with their health care plans in 2009.
- He knew from conversations with his doctors that Obamacare was no good.
Campbell makes no mention controlling costs, those with pre-existing conditions, or the many other goals and benefits of Obamacare. His answer for the uninsured is that the government, taxpayers, should buy it for them — more welfare.
Here are some of the incendiary phrases that pepper Campbell’s article:
- The President … wants people to put lipstick on a pig.
- If you believed anything he (President Obama) said, shame on you.
- More government control of our lives.
- deny Obama his goal of having the government control everyone’s health care with a ridiculous list of mandates.
- retired baby-boomers are going to bankrupt Medicare
- red alert
- thousands of pages of regulations it has spawned
Boiled down Campbell’s argument seems to be — I never liked Obamacare, I don’t believe that I benefit personally (“higher costs for people like me”), so I will besmirch it with any claim that comes to mind. To me this represents irresponsible journalism.
© William Hungerford – January 2014