The Partisan Hack vs the Objective Journalist (re: Healthcare Reform)

It’s hard to find good examples of this kind of stuff.  I’m well aware that being an “objective journalist” is something of a oxymoronic ideal, but it’s there to strive for, and the difficulty in reaching that ideal is no reason not to try.

Here’s a quick example of the difference between actually trying to be objective and doing your best to skew reality.

First up, the ojective dude.*

The first statistics are coming in and, to the surprise of a great many, Obamacare might just be working to bring health care to working Americans precisely as promised.

The major health insurance companies around the country are reporting a significant increase in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees.

Why?

Because the tax cut created in the new health care reform law providing small businesses with an incentive to give health benefits to employees is working.

One of the biggest problems in the small-group market is affordability,” said Ron Rowe, who oversees small-group sales for the Kansas City operation for Blue Cross Blue Shied. “We looked at the tax credit and said, ‘this is perfect.”

Rowe went on to say that 38% of the businesses it is signing up had not offered health benefits before.

You can read the rest of that article (and the comments) for some insight on how some of the provisions from health-care reform are helping to bring healthcare to millions of more people.

….ooooorrrrr……

…you can read the partisan hack version.  This one doesn’t include quotes from Ron Rowe, rather it is filled with the deceptive statistical proclamations of one Karl Rove.

A primary task for the new Republican House majority is to undo as many of the pernicious effects of ObamaCare that it can. One of these effects is the spectacle of employers going hat-in-hand to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for waivers from some of the law’s more onerous provisions.

BTW, one of the “pernicious effects” of “ObmaCare” that Rove refers to is reducing the country’s deficits.  Even Bruce Bartlett has called out the GOP for this long-term lie.  Rove, of course, doesn’t deign to mention how repealing HCR increases the debt, but he does start slinging doozies and baseless insinuations…

In September, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began granting waivers to companies that provided workers “mini-med” coverage—low-cost plans with low annual limits on what the insurance will pay out. This followed announcements by some employers that they would have to drop these plans because they did not meet the new health law’s requirement that 85% of premium income be spent on medical expenses.

Rove *very much neglects to mention* that all of these “mini-med” waivers are holdovers until the full legislation kicks in in 2014.    FactCheck.org addressed this lie recently….

Q: Has the Obama administration allowed corporations to “opt out” of the new health care law?

A: No. The government has granted more than 200 waivers, but these merely give companies a temporary delay before being required to improve the coverage of cheap, bare-bones plans they currently offer.

Karl Rove, however, knowing that his reading audience for the WSJ is already largely suspicious of  certain groups getting special favors, plays that card immediately…

According to the department’s website, the waivers cover 1,507,418 employees, of which more than a third (525,898) are union members. Yet unionized workers make up only 7% of the private work force. Whatever is going on here, a disproportionately high number of waivers are being granted to administration allies.

Note this old-school hackery…”I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’m suspicious.”  This is pure hackery.  Sure, it could be pointed out that it’s comparing apples (private work force as a whole) to oranges (specific industries getting waivers), and one could also point out, like Politifact did, that…

But, as of Dec. 3, the federal government had approved a total of 222 one-year waivers that allow the insurance plans at companies like McDonald’s, Jack in the Box and Ruby Tuesday, and unions, to ignore the requirement on annual limits. Far from being “Obama’s buddies,” as the Internet post claimed, the restaurant industry, through the National Restaurant Association, opposed the legislation.

.,..but only someone honest would do that.  Rove doesn’t qualify.

It should also be noted here that unlike the impression one would get from Rove’s article, we are talking about plans here that barely, if at all, qualify as “health insurance”.    And did I mention the waivers are temporary?  I probably should twice, since Rove neglected to ever mention that salient fact.

In typical douchebag fashion, Rove finishes with the unknowingly ironic…

In a speech at the University of Iowa last March, the president heralded health-care reform as “a new set of rules that treats everybody honestly and treats everybody fairly.”

…which is precisely why Republicans hate it.  Right, Mr. Rove?

* It should be noted that he is writing for Forbes magazine.   Forbes…run by Steve Forbes…who wrote…

If reelected, Obama can go back to his power-grabbing ways by having the federal government intrusively dominate higher education via programs that will make college “free” to virtually everyone. Student loans are already under his thumb.

Rigid ideologists have long known how to make tactical maneuvers to further their ultimate goals. The most famous case was Vladimir Lenin in the early 1920s. While the Communists had won the civil war, the Soviet Union’s economy was moribund, threatening the Red regime’s survival. Entrepreneurs did not fear taxes and regulations; they feared for their very lives.

I mention that bit of retarded guilt by association to illustrate that while even the editor-in-chief  of  Forbes (Steve Forbes) is a “Obama is a commie!!” nut, not all of his editors are infected with the same delusion.   A lesson one Mr. Murdoch might take to heart if he wasn’t making so much money ignoring it.

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