Healthcare and the Press

One of my parents works in a cardiologist practice, one of my siblings is a nurse and I myself am covered by the Spanish public healthcare system. While ours views on America’s healthcare “debate” might qualify us as flesh-eating liberals on Fox News, which now informs the majority of cable viewers, by far the more distressing fact is that a once-conscientious press views people with an informed perspective through an idiotic lens.

Our national dialogue is only as strong as our weakest member, which in this case happens to be the mouth piece for the whole entire healthcare debate: the press. Much has been made of Time Magazine’s softball story on Glenn Beck, a man who regularly compares the current American President to Adolf Hitler, but little self criticism is coming from news sources, like the NY Times and Washington Post, who buried objections to the Iraq War on page 13D.

Yesterday’s NY Times story on the rejection of two different public healthcare options by the Senate Finance Committee makes the Democratic party—the part of the party not killing the public option—into the Never Say Die Club. But some fates, like pretending we’re having a rational deliberation over healthcare in America, are worse than death. Here are two facts I have personally observed:

England’s National Health Service is funded by a flat income tax of ten percent.

There remains a private health insurance industry in Spain as well as a single-payer system.

Not surprisingly, it takes reading an English paper to realize that “major elements of the [American] media, terrified of accusations that they’re in the tank with Democrats and liberals, would rather deny the reality than tell the simple truth. This abject spinelessness is a significant factor in how the lies of the right infect public discourse.”

Each time the press pretends like the healthcare debate proceeds along a rational line of inquiry, it’s like another objection to the Iraq invasion is buried on page 13D. Only this time, the war is civil. 

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