FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

PBS Newshour Lies About Single-Payer Health Care

by

The fact that a majority of Americans support a single-payer, or Medicare for all, health care system is not news.  Or at least it ought not to be news, especially to veteran political journalists.

But enter the vaunted PBS Newshour, which bills itself as “one of the most trusted news programs on television.”  (In fairness, that’s a medium not eliciting much in the way of stiff competition.)

On Friday’s broadcast, during the program’s weekly left/right debate segment, featuring New York Times columnist David Brooks on the right and Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus (seen burnishing her “progressive” credentials here) on the “left,” the topic of discussion turned to the differing health care proposals of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Sanders supports a Medicare for all system, while Clinton supports maintaining the status quo of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  But with Sanders now surging in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the health care schism between the Democratic front-runners has taken center stage in the campaign, with Clinton camp surrogates attacking Sanders by going so far as to incredulously assert that Sanders, by seeking to expand health care to all Americans, is really threatening to strip health coverage from millions.

Taking up this debate between the two Democratic candidates, Brooks commented Friday on the Newshour that, “They also had an interesting debate about health care reform. And that was her [Clinton] making an incremental argument, we have got to make our changes gradually, and him [Sanders] making a radical argument. And so it was interesting. That was a substantive, real argument about how you change any system.”

Newshour co-anchor Judy Woodruff then interjected to clarify, “…essentially, the argument is whether you just wipe away…what we have done and you go to a single-payer health care system, which most Americans say they don’t want… [emphasis added]”

Wait, what?  Most Americans say they don’t want a single-payer health care system?  Where did Woodruff pull that one from?

According to a 2014 Program for Consultation study analyzing public polling occurring between 2008 and 2013, majorities in both “red” (Republican-dominated) and “blue” (Democratic-dominated) congressional districts prefer government to play a greater role in health care.

When presented with the statement, “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” 62.3% of respondents in red districts agreed, compared to 62.9% of respondents in blue districts.

When presented with the statement, “Government should be responsible for ensuring health care needs of its citizens,” 55.6% of respondents in red districts agreed, compared to 64.1% of respondents in blue districts.

The Program for Consultation study even found 47.8% of respondents from red districts to agree that they, “Favor government paying for all necessary medical care for everyone.”  That compared to 54.9% of respondents in blue districts.

Meanwhile, a 2015 Progressive Change Institute poll found over 50% of Americans support a single-payer health care system like that proposed by Sanders, including 80% of Democrats.

Given all this, a Newshour viewer may have reasonably hoped that at the very least Marcus, the segment’s “left” perspective, would have interjected to correct Woodruff with any of the above.  But, alas, Woodruff’s complete distortion of reality, whether a result of a confounding ignorance or ideological blindness, passed without comment.

It seems that not even a “trusted news program” on an ostensibly public channel is capable of conceding the progressive views of the American public.

More articles by:

Ben Schreiner is the author of A People’s Dictionary to the ‘Exceptional Nation’.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com or via his blog.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 27, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
California Scheming: Democrats Betray Single-Payer Again
Jonathan Cook
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Edward Hunt
Excessive and Avoidable Harm in Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Death of Democracy Both Here and Abroad and All Those Colorful Sneakers
Gary Leupp
Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference
Kenneth Surin
Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall
Slavoj Zizek
Get the Left
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State
Ralph Nader
Driverless Cars: Hype, Hubris and Distractions
Rima Najjar
Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
Norman Solomon
Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?
Binoy Kampmark
In the Twitter Building: Tech Incubators and Altering Perceptions
Dean Baker
Uber’s Repudiation is the Moment for the U.S. to Finally Start Regulating the So-called Sharing Economy
Rob Seimetz
What I Saw From The Law
George Wuerthner
The Causes of Forest Fires: Climate vs. Logging
June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail