Sunday, February 24, 2013

Obamacare: round two : Columbia Journalism Review

An appeal for information responsibility in journalism.

The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obamacare, is the law of the land, and the re-election of the president ensures that its far-reaching provisions will take effect as scheduled in 2014. What does that mean for journalists? It presents an opportunity—and an obligation—to deliver the clear and thorough reporting that was missing during the debate on the Act itself.

The politicians were not helpful then. Republicans demonized Obamacare, essentially a plan hatched in conservative think tanks and road-tested by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. The Democrats hid the football, de-emphasizing the mechanics of the law in an effort to minimize the risk that the requirement to have health insurance or face penalties might not win votes.

In the end, the media covered the law’s long, slow passage like a sporting event, without much explanation of how it would shape people’s lives. Here comes another chance.

Obamacare: round two : Columbia Journalism Review

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