Fair and Less Responsible Journalism

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



About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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2 Responses to Fair and Less Responsible Journalism

  1. Robert says:

    Not only does your reaction sum it up for the majority of these type of people, but they have no shame about it, either.

    They claim that “most Americans” like their health insurance. Of course, this statement blindly ignore those who have none at all, because they are denied, or simply cannot afford it.


  2. Barbara Griffin says:

    People choose to forget that the start up of Social Security and Medicare wasn’t easy either. I, personally, do not know many people who have been happy with their current or prior health insurance, as the premiums continue to jump annually, and the coverage continues to drop. Many policies would cover only the providers/hospitals/labs within their “network”…and many providers would not accept health insurance plans that reimbursed below an acceptable level. Other “affordable” policies required a deductible from a low of $3,000-$5,000 to as high as over $10,000 before coverage was provided. Then, of course, there were the millions of people who were denied, or couldn’t afford, coverage at all, as previously mentioned. I suspect the private health insurance companies are having a heyday with all the new, taxpayer subsidized, premiums they will rake in…and they will likely continue to raise premiums and deny whatever coverage they can get away with. “Medicare for all”, or single payer, would be the best means to cut health care costs…along with regulation of the inflated prices charged by hospitals, labs, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. I’m not adverse to making a profit, but the upper management salaries are obscene.


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