The media and the press in the United States tend to present opinions of the news rather than the facts. After all, the facts are dry! Moreover, we are bombarded with “fluff” notions about the Affordable Care Act, especially by various forms of propaganda. The act itself is nearly twenty-five hundred pages long, which makes it daunting and impractical for the average reader to undertake.
“On the subject of the Affordable Care Act – ObamaCare, to reclaim the name critics have made into a slur – a number of fallacies seem to be congealing into accepted wisdom. Much of this is the result of unrelenting Republican propaganda and right-wing punditry, but it has gone largely unchallenged by gun-shy Democrats. The result is that voters are confronted with slogan and side issues – “It’s a tax!” “No, it’s a penalty!” – rather than a reality-based discussion” (Bill Keller, New York Times 2012).
Another example of non-reality in mainstream media is the assertion that ObamaCare will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“The House Republican majority was at it again last week, staging the 33rd theatrical vote to roll back the Affordable Care Act. And once again the cliché of the day was “job-killer.” In reality, all one would have to do is read what the CBO actually wrote. While some low-wage jobs might be lost, the CBO number mainly refers to workers who – being no longer dependent on employees for their health-care safety net – may choose to retire earlier or work part-time. Those jobs would then be open for others who need them” (New York Times, 2012.)
“ObamaCare is a federal takeover of health insurance” (New York Times).
This is a claim from the Republican side. The reality is that the law could potentially introduce thirty million new customers to the private market.
This political comic appeared with the following caption:
“The Congressional Budget Office calculates that repealing Obama’s health care reforms would cost the U.S. $230 billion over the next couple decades. The reaction? New Speaker John “tanning bed” Boehner simply dismisses the CBO estimate. Why let the facts get in the way of the Tea Party rhetoric? Meanwhile, the right continues to repeat the myth that Obamacare will cost the country huge sums.”
We can clearly see that the because of the media’s tendency to report opinion rather than fact that we can quickly get a clouded vision of what’s really going on unless we look a little deeper. The Affordable Health Care Act has numerous discrepancies even within the news media between its representation, reality, and perception.
The bill is also occasionally represented for exactly what it is, and this poses a problem as well – the average American cannot read and/or understand the bill in its entirety. The facts are easily accessible within the bill itself, but there is still that gap between what is written and what can be easily interpreted by the average citizen, most of whom do not fully understand the law, and shouldn’t be expected to.
There are also many gaps in perception of the Affordable Health Care Act because a lot of the reality is clouded by opinion reporting by the news media, and by political and partisan biases.