Bias Pick of the Week: New Healthcare Study.
This week we saw a great contrast in coverage of new reports by two major research groups on U.S. health insurance. And we saw the left and the right both leave out key information that the others thought were important.
From the Left, the New York Times led their story with the headline More Young Adults Have Insurance After Health Care Law, Study Says. They quoted experts from liberal and conservative organizations who agreed that this is almost certainly a result of a provision of the new health care law that let those under 26 stay on their parent's policies. The conservative described it as "the only plausible explanation".
NPR (Center) and the Washington Times (Right) focused on the increased costs of health care.
In Insurance Costs Rise, But More Slowly, NPR explains that costs went up by about 4 percent, which is a welcomed reduction from last year's 9 percent but "more than double the 1.7 percent increase in average wages and way above the 2.3 percent rate of general inflation this year." They pointed out that the "general decline in health care use", as a result of the weakened economy, was probably responsible for the lower growth in costs. If the new health care law had any impact on slowing the rate of increase, it was not much.
The Washington Times headline read Premiums for family health plans hit $15,745and made similar points like the "rise in premiums easily outpaced workers’ raises and inflation". It also expanded on some concerns that when the new law goes into effect, "employers with lots of low-wage workers may be tempted to drop coverage and send their employees into new state-based insurance exchanges".
While the New York Times (from the left) did not mention the increased costs at all, the Washington Times (from the right) did not mention the increase coverage for young adults. NPR focused mostly on the increased costs but did mention the increased coverage at the end of their article.
All stories were accurate, but what was emphasized or ignored had a big impact on what a reader would think. Yet another example why we at AllSides believe that you can not rely on a single source if you want to be informed.