The U.S. Senate
killed "patient protection" legislation this month, but most
reporters left out of their stories on the issue the main argument
against such laws — that health mandates cause costs to go up, and
therefore increase the numbers of uninsured Americans.
For instance, an October 10
Washington Post story by Amy Goldstein and Helen Dewar
includes quotes from Republican opponents of the measure, but
includes no one stating the reasons why mandates can be
counterproductive. Edwin Chen’s October 11 Los Angeles Times
story also lacks arguments against the legislation.
But Robert Pear of The
New York Times includes in his October 10 story on the Senate’s
action an explanation for opposition to such laws: "A coalition of
HMOs, insurance companies and employers — the Health Benefits
Coalition — vehemently opposed new federal mandates on health plans,
saying such requirements would increase costs and reduce the number
of people with coverage." He didn’t mention this argument until the
eighteenth paragraph of his article, but he did at least mention it.