NPR Boosts ‘Dominance of Private Health Insurance’

Analyzing “The Art of Framing at NPR” on his NPR Check blog, Mytwords (8/29/09) thinks that “there are many ways you could frame the role of Sen. Kent Conrad, one of the gang of six senators who are working very hard to preserve the profitable dominance of private health insurance in the U.S.–such as “marvel[ing] at why six senators representing less than 3 percent of the U.S. population are controlling the fate of health insurance reform,” or possibly by taking a serious “look at the obscene amounts of campaign cash flowing into these senators’ coffers from the for-profit health insurance industry and its allies.”

“Ah, but not on NPR,” writes Mytwords, when citing how All Things Considered‘s Andrea Seabrook “explains Kent Conrad’s opposition to the pubic option and offer of health insurance co-ops as the result of his expertise on fighting government deficits and his commitment to centrism and bipartisanship.”

Mytwords’ response:

There’s just one little, tiny problem with all this emphasis on expertise, budget deficits and BIG, NEW PROBLEMS, great co-ops, and winning Republican votes: It doesn’t wash. First, there is no consensus that deficit spending is a bad thing. As far as the danger of a BIG, NEW GOVERNMENT PROGRAM costing sooooo much more money than what we’ve got–that’s a factually challenged assertion, too. But Health Insurance Co-ops are a good thing, like Credit Unions, right? Wrong, they are a sham.

Tempted to throw the public broadcaster a bone by considering that, “Well, at least the bit about getting Republicans on board makes sense”? Mytwords points out how that is just “Wrong again.” Listen to the FAIR radio program CounterSpin: “Trudy Lieberman on Healthcare Reform” (8/14/09).