NYT Decries ‘Partisan Divide’ in Healthcare, Never Mentions Democrat Opposition

July 16th, 2009 7:10 AM

Here’s another one of those wonderful examples of how the Old Media will use a headline that makes a stark claim about how rotten Republicans are for opposing a Democratic plan while at the same time conveniently ignoring the opposition to the same idea among Democrats.

This time it is the “partisan divide” in the healthcare debate. The Times tsks Republicans for solidly lining up to oppose Obama’s wild grab for nearly 20 percent of the nation’s economy through his healthcare plans. Yet not once does the Times mention the many areas in which Democrats are disagreeing with Democrats on Obamacare. The Times makes it seem as if there is no dissent among Democrats and it is only those meanie Republicans holding up the wonderfulness of Obamacare.

The Times starts out with a headline that focuses on partisan obstruction: “Health Care Vote Illustrates Stubborn Partisan Divide.”

The story then goes on to talk of how Republicans in the Senate are standing against Obamacre. This is true, of course. Senate Republicans are standing fairly strong against Obamacare at this moment. But, the story is told as if this is all there is to it. The headline, for instance, seems to state as fact that healthcare is only being held up by a “partisan divide.” But the truth is there are many Democrat voices expressing worry over Obamacare, too.

The most outspoken group of Democrats nay saying the current debate is the Blue Dog Democrats in the House of Representatives. Last week these 40 Democrats sent a letter to Speaker of the House Pelosi saying that they could not support the House leadership’s healthcare bill unless major changes were made.

Not only that, but even a Big Labor bigwig expressed his lack of support for a part of the Democrat’s healthcare agenda with the idea of taxing healthcare benefits. Teamsters President James P. Hoffa recently warned Democrats that if they tired to tax employee’s healthcare benefits, he’d turn against them.

These are but two examples of many, not that the Times mentions any of this.

The point here is, the sea is not smooth as glass on the Democrat side for healthcare as it might seem if The New York Times is your only source on the facts.

Lastly, I’d like to point out one more nice little example of a bias in rhetoric employed by the Times in this story.

The bill, which aims to make health insurance available to all Americans…

The thing is, insurance is already available to all Americans. Just pony up the cash and it’s yours.

Anyway, the biggest problem with this NYT story is how incomplete it is. One gets the vague notion that the only opposition to healthcare is coming from recalcitrant Republicans. The truth is, though, there are deepening disagreements coming from both parties about the efficacy of healthcare “reform” emanating from the Democratic leadership and President Obama.