Yesterday was like most any other day. I woke up, let my dog out, made some coffee then opened up my laptop to see what was going on in the world. And I must tell you, I was completely and utterly “shocked.”
Did you know the HealthCare.gov website isn’t fully working? Holy crap! How could I have missed the multiple press conferences; pointless hearings; endless blogs; op-eds; news reports and blowhard outrage about it? Apparently, for many Americans, HealthCare.gov hasn’t worked correctly since it opened on October 1.
Just—stunning. I do recall hearing about these issues just over a month ago, but color me shocked that over a month later every major media outlet continues to report the same exact headline, even though the Obama administration said it wouldn’t be until the end of November before the website was going to be working.
I guess we need near constant updates from every major media entity to remind Americans multiple times per day that the HealthCare.gov website still isn’t working. If Americans weren’t told this news numerous times per day — every day — what would we do?
And even worse, did you hear millions upon millions of Americans are receiving cancellation notices from their insurance companies? Who cares that for 95% of Americans their insurance plans will remain exactly the same or get better and that millions of Americans have access to health care (some for the first time) thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Five percent of Americans are eventually going to have to purchase more comprehensive health insurance.
It’s a pure travesty.
I’m sure glad there’s a “new” story every night on almost every major network showcasing another American that had their plan cancelled, is paying more—or both. I guess we should probably hear from the 95% of Americans who haven’t had their insurance cancelled, or the millions who are paying less, but seriously—who cares about them, right?
And here’s some breaking news: Attention Americans, be aware that politicians often exaggerate and sometimes even lie.
It’s a precedent apparently set by President Obama. You see, before he failed to mention that only 95% of Americans would be able to keep their current health insurance, no other politician in the history of the United States had ever not been completely honest.
After all the weapons of mass destruction we found in Iraq and how the massive tax cuts passed in the early 2000′s balanced our budget, I guess the American people were spoiled by such political honesty.
I’m simply relieved that that our media has chosen to continually report on the same exact story night after night, otherwise Americans might not be aware of the same exact issues that they were just told about yesterday and will be told again tomorrow.
But if they simply reword the headline, it’s a brand new story, right?
If this article seems absurd, it’s because it was meant to be. The media coverage of the issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act has been ridiculous.
Where are the stories of the millions of people who are paying less for health insurance? Where are the people who have successfully purchased health insurance for the first time in their lives? What about the thousands who’ve gotten coverage through the Medicaid expansions and the millions who won’t have access to health insurance because Republicans have refused to expand Medicaid coverage in their states?
See, none of those are “sexy” stories. They don’t get the “shock value” that stories about the HealthCare.gov website issues generate.
For me, the coverage of “Obamacare” defines the phrase “beating a dead horse.” Not that the Affordable Care Act is a dead horse, but that the issues that have plagued the rollout have been reported on plenty of times—for weeks. The website is being worked on and President Obama has said that he’s extending the deadline for insurance plans to meet the ACA requirements for at least another year.
And don’t even call me biased on this issue. I’ve been an open critic of the way the rollout of Obamacare has gone thus far. I’ve called it an absolute embarrassment and a disaster that solely rests on the shoulders of President Obama and his administration.
That being said, the media coverage has massively overblown the issues for the sake of ratings. Yes, the website’s failures are inexcusable, but the administration has said they’re being addressed and should be mostly fixed by the end of November. What good does it do to continue pounding on the fact that the website isn’t working (yet) when that situation has been addressed and a plan has been laid out to solve those issues?
The cancellation of insurance policies, however, has been greatly exaggerated. If I didn’t know any better, I’d believe that the majority of Americans are losing their health insurance. Which isn’t even remotely factual.
In fact, I’m willing to bet that the refusal by most Republican state legislatures to expand Medicaid coverage has negatively impacted far more Americans than the cancellation of substandard plans has. But outside of the “liberal media” you don’t hear much about that, do you?
Now I’m not saying as new developments come to light that there shouldn’t be stories written, but 6,340 takes on why the HealthCare.gov issues are inexcusable is far from necessary. I think just about every American agrees that the website issues are embarrassing—we get it.
And like I said, if these media outlets want to report on the bad, then they should be reporting on the good. But they’re not. Because feel good stories don’t drive “hits” and traffic like anger, fear and paranoia do.
Trust me, I’m in this business. I see the stats and the viewing trends. Fear, anger and irrational knee-jerk emotions are what many of these sites feed off of.
However, Republicans shouldn’t be celebrating these issues either. Their numbers aren’t going up. It isn’t as if they are suddenly the representatives of “mainstream” Americans. The “trust level” of President Obama and Democrats is simply lower—closer to the level of Republicans.
Besides, it isn’t as if Republicans have been honest about “Obamacare.” They said it would kill job creation and hurt our economy — it hasn’t. They said it was a socialized takeover of our health care industry — it isn’t. Many said it would create death panels and require mandatory microchipping — both completely absurd claims. President Obama might have exaggerated his claim about a part of the Affordable Care Act, but conservatives have blatantly lied about it for years.
Because trust me, once this all settles down (and it will), the American people will still be well aware of just how ridiculous Republicans really are.