Saturday, July 7, 2012

The New York Times Finds a New Synonym for "Lie"

Delicate Pivot as Republicans Blast Rivals on Medicare Cuts

WASHINGTON — For much of the past year, Republicans assailed President Obama for resisting the Medicare spending reductions they say are needed to both preserve health benefits for older Americans and avert a Greek-style debt crisis. Representative Paul D. Ryan, the House Republicans’ point man on the budget, has called the president “gutless.

Yet since the Supreme Court upheld the Democrats’ 2010 health care law, Republicans, led by Mitt Romney, have reversed tactics and attacked the president and Democrats in Congress by saying that Medicare will be cut too much as part of that law.


...the $500 billion in reductions would come through cuts in the projected growth of Medicare and would mainly affect hospitals and other providers of medical care, some of whom supported the health care measure nonetheless because it would extend coverage to up to 30 million uninsured Americans, raising the number of paying customers. Other savings would result from lower subsidies for private insurers selling Medicare Advantage plans, which offer older people extra features like vision care and gym memberships. The insurers could not cut basic Medicare benefits. 

Democrats used the projected $500 billion in savings to help pay for expanding older people’s benefits. The health care law says that some preventive care services like mammograms must be free to patients, and it closed the “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug program, which had left many older people paying full price for prescriptions above a certain level.

--NYT, June 6, 2012

I don't think it's too much to say that this article exemplifies what's wrong with American journalism. There are two ways to control Medicare costs: by reducing benefits or by controlling medical costs. The Republicans have chosen the first, the Democrats the second. Now Republicans are desperately trying to muddy the waters. Yet the Times is too delicate to make the story about the truthfulness of the claims, so it's about how the Republicans have "reversed tactics." Elsewhere, they say, "The result is a messaging mess...

A messaging mess? Really, New York Times, who cares? Your foremost responsibility as journalists is not to give us knowing insider stories. It's to help us distinguish fact from fiction.

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