Jul
02
2009

NPR's Single-Payer-Free Healthcare Reportage

Critiquing some more of National Public Radio's healthcare reportage, blogger Mytwords (NPR Check, 6/29/09) highlights Julie Rovner of Morning Edition "reporting this morning for the private health insurance lobby": "The healthcare cost debate pretty much comes down to this: 'You can't cut costs without hurting someone.'"

Rovner then backs up her "analysis" with "a little Meet the Press sound-bite from Fred Thompson"–"The only way to really save cost is to have rationing or it can be done by a cram-down by the government and take it out of the hides of doctors, hospitals":

Rovner's report mainly serves to highlight and promote the research of Elliott Fisher of the Dartmouth Institute. The big deal is that Fisher has found that some areas in the U.S. with lower cost prices for healthcare have better outcomes. Funny thing is that on June 11, 2009, NPR featured this exact research. An interesting thing not mentioned on NPR is the chief "partners" of the Dartmouth Institute. On the list are

  • Wellpoint Foundation
  • Aetna Foundation
  • United Health Foundation

I do smell a conflict of interest, eh?

Rovner fills out the report by going to a solid centrist–Len Nichols (no single-payer, he)–of the New America Foundation (as far left as NPR dare venture).

Don't worry, though–"the wrap-up is provided by Joe Antos of the far-right American Enterprise Institute, who concludes that real change to healthcare is a cultural/behavioral issue more than a cost issue." Read the new issue of FAIR's magazine Extra!: "Media Quarantine of Single-Payer Continues: Fifteen Years Later, Public Health Insurance Still Taboo" (6/09) by Julie Hollar and Isabel Macdonald.