Opinion: Media Mangle

To media, rise in health care costs is a total mystery

LA Times wire and N&O treat it as an act of God, like the weather

Seriously now, how does a major wire service and a major newspaper run a story about rising health care costs and NOT mention ObamaCare? Well, the Los Angeles Times wire service did it today, and The News & Observer ran it as the lede story on its front page.

We’ve been embroiled in a health care debate for three years now. President Obama’s health care takeover plan was adopted by the Democratic Congress in 2009 with the promise that it would reduce health care costs, not increase them.

Opponents of ObamaCare predicted it would do the opposite of what Obama promised, mainly due to the many regulations and restrictions the ill-devised plan created. Many of the problems with the law are just now becoming evident. As Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, we had to pass it to find out what was in it.

Now we’re finding out, and it’s not good news. North Carolina’s 2nd District member of Congress Renee Ellmers had it right in a blog post yesterday when she wrote:

Not only did this law, which gives the government more control over healthcare, affect the way healthcare providers and their patients interact, but it has a huge impact on the way businesses function. Instead of decisions regarding healthcare and business being made between doctors and patients and employers and employees, many of those decisions are heavily influenced (and in some cases mandated) by this ill-conceived law.

Instead of providing market driven, patient-centered solutions, the President and the previous Congress gave us more government intervention and control. As a result, many employers will likely find providing healthcare coverage to their employees under the new law too expensive and will likely stop offering health coverage.

But a newspaper or wire service can’t simply say Ellmers was right, or that ObamaCare’s opponents were right. That would be editorializing, like I’m doing here. But they can, and should, at least point out what opponents are saying caused the increase.

When the media refuses to point to a cause, and treats it simply as an act of God, like the weather, then you know who’s really at fault.

Jon Ham is vice president of the John Locke Foundation and publisher of its newspaper, Carolina Journal.