ABC, CBS and NBC Turn a Blind Eye to ObamaCare Setbacks

For the past couple of weeks there has been a steady drip of bad news for ObamaCare, but you wouldn't know it if you only get your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. From a Society of Actuaries report that determined premium costs will shoot up thanks to a thirty-three percent average increase in claims; to thirty-three Senate Democrats joining Republicans in voting to repeal an ObamaCare tax on medical devices; to a Quinnipiac University poll showing even two-thirds of self-identified Democrats saying the law will either hurt them or have no effect, the recent news has been bad for the President's chief legislative victory. However, not one of these trouble spots for ObamaCare has been mentioned on ABC, CBS or NBC's evening or morning show broadcasts.

The following setbacks for ObamaCare haven't received a single second of air time on the Big Three networks:

■ On March 22, ObamaCare hit a major snag when even 33 Senate Democrats openly defied the President as they joined 45 Republicans in voting to repeal a 2.3 percent sales tax, crucial to paying for ObamaCare, on medical devices such as pacemakers and MRI machines. The measure was co-sponsored by liberal Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who said in a statement that she would "continue to work to get rid of this harmful tax."
                    
Big Three coverage 0 stories.

■ On March 26, the Society of Actuaries, released a study that determined health claims will increase by an average of 32 percent with some states seeing claims rise as much as 80 percent. The study estimated that states will now have to double their health spending to cover the millions of the previously uninsured. The study went on to report that claims will be driven higher because many employers will stop covering their employees once Obamacare is instituted and those workers will be more expensive to insure than those already in the individual market.

Big Three coverage: 0 stories.

■ On March 26, Obama's own Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admitted that premiums will rise for some people buying new insurance policies in the coming fall, because of ObamaCare requirements. As the March 26 Wall Street Journal reported: "The secretary's remarks are among the first direct statements from federal officials that people who have skimpy health plans right now could face higher premiums for plans that are more generous."

Big Three coverage: 0 stories.



■ On April 3 Fox News reported that the Obama administration admitted a system of exchanges designed to make it simpler for small businesses to provide health insurance, the very core of ObamaCare's promise, will be delayed an entire year. According to Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center this is a huge setback because: "Lots of small businesses struggle with providing insurance for their workers so this was supposed to facilitate it and make it easier for small business to do this," and added: "It was a huge portion of the sale job. When they passed the law in 2010 there were many senators and members of Congress who were saying 'I am doing this because it's going to help small businesses.'"

Big Three coverage: 0 stories.

■ On April 4 Quinnipiac University released a poll showing that even two-thirds of Democrats now believe Obama's health care reforms will either hurt them personally or have no effect on their daily lives, vs. 27% of Democrats who believed they would be helped. Overall, only 15% of voters think ObamaCare will mostly help them personally, vs. 78% who expect it to hurt them or have no effect.

Big Three coverage: 0 stories.
                
Here are a few of the positive Team Obama items the networks deemed more important to cover:

■ ABC's April 4 Good Morning America devoted a full segment to discussing the First Lady's hairstyle, as co-anchor Robin Roberts teased: "Next up in our GMA Heat Index. Michelle Obama making headlines again for her bangs."

■ On CBS's April 3 edition of This Morning, Jan Crawford, in discussing Joe Biden's 2016 presidential prospects, relayed how voters have found the Vice President's penchant for gaffes "almost endearing."

■ NBC's April 2 Today show highlighted a clip of Al Roker singing "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" with Michelle Obama and celebrity chef Anne Burrell at the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.