CJR Worries Conservative Health Care Ideas Might 'Seep' into Coverage

December 22nd, 2008 4:49 PM

Journalists, consider yourselves warned.

Columbia Journalism Review worries government-run health care might not come to pass; indeed, ideas for consumer-driven health care could "seep" into media coverage.

CJR's Trudy Lieberman announced it was "ominous news" that a government health insurance plan might be delayed:

"Ezra Klein over at The American Prospect’s blog was right on point last week when he sent along some ominous news. Klein, quoting a story in Congressional Quarterly, said that John McDonough, the former head of a Massachusetts advocacy group who now works for Ted Kennedy, seemed to be backpedaling on the public option..."

On the other side, Lieberman warned, "right-wing think tanks" are "on the march," illuminating problems with a government-controlled approach to medicine. She noted The Heritage Foundation's criticism of a federal health board, a top idea of Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle. Lieberman's warning: 

"Heritage health policy guru Robert Moffit argued that a powerful board plus a 'controlled' market dominated by a government health plan would end existing private coverage for people and 'ensure unprecedented government interference in the delivery of care.' Heritage uber health guru Stuart Butler made similar arguments in a Washington Times op-ed on Thursday. Such thinking is likely to seep into mainstream reporting."  

She then pointed to an ABC News story she deemed "reasonable," which focused on one Democratic congressman's endorsement of a Medicare-style public plan for all.