Three years ago, Steve Skvara won the admiration of many in the mainstream media by basically calling for taxpayers to foot his wife’s health insurance. Now he's ba-a-ack! No longer hailed by Chris Matthews or People's Weekly World, he still manages favorable, unquestioning coverage. Today's nwi.com Web site, which bills itself as "the largest and most trusted media company in northern Indiana," carries the article "Health care spark gets a checkup." Written by editorial page editor Doug Ross, the piece starts:
In December, Steve Skvara of Union Township was hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 28 hours in hopes of a clean bill of health. He emerged with a bill for $96,000.
It was pleasant, he said, to have a waiter in a tux deliver his meal, but was that really necessary?
His experience is relevant because it was Skvara who lighted the fuse on the health care debate in which the nation is now embroiled.
It was on Aug. 7, 2007, that Skvara asked the seven Democratic presidential candidates what they would do to get health care to "the woman I love." Skvara explained that he lost much of his pension when LTV collapsed, and he was forced to sit across from his wife at the kitchen table, knowing he couldn't afford her health care.
$96,000 for 28 hours worth of care? Other than having a waiter in a tux deliver his meal, what services did Skvara receive? And how much will he actually pay in terms of out-of-pocket expenses? Isn't that information relevant in a discussion of health care reform?
The article quotes Skvara: "We were all hoping for a public option. . . " Not reported is who Skvara means by "we." Skvara claims Republicans are "just so radical, it's pitiful," yet isn't challenged for evidence of that radicalism. Is it because People's Weekly World doesn't like the GOP?
Health care is Skvara's biggest issue, but he's not alone. Insurance companies are spending hundreds of millions to defeat this legislation. Curiously, they're saying that regardless of what happens, rates will go up.
The brick wall Skvara is hitting with this issue is trying to get people who are haves to provide for the have-nots.
No distinction is made on the matter of how much insurance premiums would rise under ObamaCare. And then there's the shift to that old reliable class struggle rhetoric.
Later, Skvara's estimate of the cost of private insurance for a Senate aide is accepted by the author without question: "He guesses the taxpayers are subsidizing that couple's health insurance to the tune of maybe $12,000 a year."
The piece ends by noting that Skvara was invited to the White House in December, but didn't speak with Obama and had to content himself with some quality time with Bo the dog: "That's not much of a consolation prize for someone so eager for reform."
Eager for reform or eager for taxpayer subsidies? Oh, that's right. For many in the mainstream media, those are the same.