Media Coverage of Obama Health Care Act: Emphasizing the Negative
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s federal healthcare reform law, most Americans probably assume the lower courts have decided against the controversial legislation, given how the media coverage has been. In fact, a majority of court decisions have been in favor of the law.
A review of television news stories about court rulings affecting the law found that 84% of the segments focused on the decisions that questioned its constitutionality. The examination by Media Matters also discovered that 59% of newspaper articles on the subject zeroed in on negative rulings.
The media coverage has presented a distorted sense of the law’s validity, which has been upheld in a majority of the court challenges. But most Americans may not realize this because only 30% of the news stories have been about judges’ decisions to keep the law around.
Five courts (one in Virginia, one in Michigan and three in DC) have ruled the individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance is constitutional. Four other courts (one each in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and DC) have struck down the law in whole or in part.
To Learn More:
Media Overwhelmingly Focus on Rulings Against Health Care Reform Constitutionality (Media Matters for America)
Public Worries about Unemployment and the Economy, but Media Prefers Deficit(by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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