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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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October 1998



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.

Rich Noyes






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