Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
02.22 Report: Climate Denier to Lead White House Climate Panel [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
02.22 The Uninhabitable Earth [Lots more important than all other problems put together]
02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]
02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]
02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]
02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
International & FuturismSanders Has an Advantage, and It’s Not [Just] About Economics
02.22 When multilateralism crumbles, so does our rules-based order [this enables easier corruption by banks and oligarchs and may result in complete societal breakdown, chaos and war]
02.22 Trump has turned foreign aid into shabby political theatre [Psychopaths are a sub-human species without empathy or morals.]
02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]
02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]
PUBLIC BROADCASTING HAS BEEN BRIBED OR COERCED:
Frontline Distorts Global Healthcare Options
PBS show treats mandatory for-profit insurance as the only alternative
7 April 2009
Frontline's new documentary perpetuates the media's longstanding pattern of ignoring proposals for single-payer health insurance, despite the fact that this proposal polls well with the American public and has been codified in a bill co-sponsored by 74 congressmembers.The March 31 documentary by PBS's Frontline, Sick Around America, treated mandatory for-profit insurance coverage as the only alternative to the current U.S. healthcare system--even though the documentary was a sequel to a 2008 Frontline special, Sick Around the World (4/15/08), that examined several publicly funded healthcare models, including Taiwan's single-payer system.
In a segment of Sick Around America subtitled "How to Get a Fairer System," Frontline narrator Will Lyman asked Karen Ignati, a spokesperson from the insurers' trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, why the U.S. couldn't guarantee coverage for all like other developed countries do. After Ignati responded that her industry could only guarantee universal coverage if the government required all citizens to have insurance, Lyman stated:
This generalization about other developed countries being places where "people are mandated to buy" insurance is also repeated on Frontline's web page about Sick Around America, in a paragraph that contains a link to the Sick Around the World investigation. The only alternative to the current U.S. healthcare system that was examined in any depth in Sick Around America was Massachusetts' system of mandating that people buy insurance from for-profit health insurance companies.
But this exclusive focus on mandatory for-profit health insurance as a solution to the healthcare problems facing the nation negated Frontline's earlier findings about the healthcare systems in developed countries. None of the healthcare systems featured in Sick Around the World is based on mandatory purchase of for-profit insurance; indeed, as a report by the Canadian government noted (5/97; revised 2/01), "The United States is the only OECD country that relies primarily on private insurance for healthcare financing."
Frontline's 2008 documentary actually highlighted Taiwan's single-payer model of healthcare system. As Frontline correspondent T.R. Reid explained, when Taiwanese healthcare adopted single-payer it went from being "worse than America's is today," with high rates of uninsured, to a system that guarantees coverage for all and "has the lowest administrative costs in the world, less than 2 percent." The U.K.'s system of public national health insurance was also featured.
And as Reid emphasized in the conclusion of the 2008 report, in countries where there is some private-sector role in health financing, one of the central lessons is that they "all impose limits," including that insurance companies "can't make a profit on basic care." (This point is made by one source in passing in Sick Around America, but it's easy to miss.)
Reid was supposed to be the correspondent for the new documentary, but he revealed in an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter (4/2/09) that he quit over concerns that the new documentary contradicted his earlier research:
Frontline's new documentary perpetuates the media's longstanding pattern of ignoring proposals for single-payer health insurance (FAIR Media Advisory, 3/6/09), despite the fact that this proposal polls well with the American public and has been codified in a bill co-sponsored by 74 congressmembers. While Sick Around America included several spokespeople from the health insurance industry, no single-payer advocate was featured in the documentary.
Ask Frontline why Sick Around America misrepresented the findings of Sick Around the World, treating mandatory for-profit insurance coverage as the only alternative to the current U.S. healthcare system.
Please share your letters to Frontline by posting them in the comments section on the FAIR Blog.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to email@example.com. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.
Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published on April 9, 2009.