Media Coverage of Health Care Reform Act
The Health Care Reform Act, or the popular Obama Care, is one of the burning issues in discussions across the social, economic and political platforms, in the United States. It is not only a contentious matter within the United States of America, but also in many other parts of the world. The country is the world’s super power. Therefore, it is inevitable that anything of national significance would affect people within its territorial boundaries, as well as beyond the local scene. After his election as the President of the United States in the year 2002, President Barrack Obama initiated several programs and a series of legislation processes. These efforts in critical undertakings sought to put the nation back on its feet at a time when the globe was in facing the devastating effects of global economic crisis. Politicians, economic analysts and other interested parties offered their views and expressed approval or disapproval in their own separate ways. In a country where freedom of speech is highly significant, different media sources relayed information across the nation and beyond borders in different ways, and to different extents. This paper gives an understated analysis of three media sources, CNN, FoxNews and Aljazeera that played an instrumental role in the delivery of information in respect of the Health Care Reform Act. CNN and FoxNews are commercial media sources whereas Aljazeera is the only non-commercial media source among the three. All of them have a global image.
CNN was the pioneer of offering 24-hour television news coverage on its inception in the year 1980. Presently, it reaches over one hundred million households and about eight hundred and ninety hotel rooms in the United States alone. Internationally, this media channel broadcasts in two hundred and twelve different countries. This shows that it is a big media source whose news coverage impacts hugely on different populations in the all corners of the world. It is a powerful news channel and has a strong influence even beyond the borders of the United States. Under its slogan, there is “CNN=politics”. Obama Care is more of political than it is a health care matter. CNN gave it total attention.
As a commercial media source, CNN had to balance between the proposition and opposition of in their dissemination of critical information about this largely political matter. In one of the most recent news coverage, a CNN reporter, Josh Levs (2012) gave a detailed account of the implications of the court ruling in respect of the Health Care Reform Act. He gives an account of the implications of the court’s ruling that suggested for some changes to the act before its implementation.
In July 2012, Tom Cohen and Bill Mears, CNN reporters in Washington, observed that most republican strongholds strongly resisted the implementation of the Obama care. They called for total repealing and replacement of of the entire citing several reasons that justify such a move. This came just in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Obama health care plan for the United States under the Health Care Reform Act. On President Obama’s side, this ruling came as a success to the entire country and the people of the United States of America. The ruling gave the federal government the go ahead in the implementation of the law which got the majority’s vote in the Obama administration in the year 2010. The decision of the court caused uproar among republicans under the stewardship of Governor Mitt Romney, a contender of the presidential position in the oval house.
In different section, Emily Smith (2012) gave the processes and events in respect of the Health Care Act. She begins with the President Obama’s declaration that the Health Care Reform Act was timely and inevitable. This happened on 24th February, 2009. He emphasized the need for the Act and asserted that “it will not wait another year”. She continues with the timeline until 28th June, 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Act was fit for implementation under the United States’ tax laws.
Besides CNN, FoxNews did, and still continues to cover vastly about the Health Care Reform Act. The news channel has been a keen follower of the Obama Care events. The news source details both the opposing and supporting arguments of the Health Care Reform Act that elicits criticism from the Obama’s opponents.
In Illinois, a female politician by the name of Dr. Barbra Bellar questioned the validity and legitimacy of Obama health care plan for the citizens of the United States. Thi is according to FoxNew’s Perry Chiarramonte (2012) in her article titled “Doctor seeking Illinois Senate seat offers brutal diagnosis of ObamaCare in viral video”. She is a republican politician who wants to capture the Illinois Senator. Her feelings about the Health Care Reform Act, is that it is a total “erosion of rights”.
Dr. Marc Siegel in his compelling article acknowledges the problems that doctors will face when the health care reform act becomes effective. In spite of that, he remains confident that doctors will survive the harmful effects of Obama Care. He notes that in spite of the huge tasks for them, and decline in their compensation. He insists that it was unbelievable for Obama Care to survive the heavy hand of the Judicial System. He believes that Obama Care should not have passed that stage. The Health Care Reform Act is unsuitable for the people of the United States of America. He expresses his fears for the American people who have medical insurance with different insurance companies. He fears that the patients will start getting low quality health care services when the act comes into force. He points out that patients will face severe cases of inaccessibility to modern specialized services and facilities because of the cheap health care plan that the federal government seeks to implement under the new Health Care Reform Act that President Obama signed into law in the year 2010. He says that it will be tedious work for doctors to explain to their patients why they have to receive low quality health services in spite of the increasing premiums.
In a different scenario, a headline on the FoxNews official website read: “Supreme Court opens door to another challenge to ObamaCare”. After the June ruling that upheld ObamaCare, Liberty University went to court as plaintiff in the name of employer seeking to challenge the decision of the Supreme Court. This is was another challenge that would possibly cut short the celebrations of the proposing side: the Obama administration group. The Supreme Court ruled that the claim of presented by Liberty merited consideration under the laws of the country. The Anti-Injunction Act did not hinder such a procession as the Court of Appeal had ruled earlier. This gave all other opponents of the Health Care Reform Act another chance to hope for a judicial decision in their favor. They hoped and prayed that the law would be nullified or brought to the house for amendment before coming into force. As it seeks to assist the middle-class Americans, the Health Care Reform Act fails to consider the rights of the super rich people in the country and oppresses the employers.
In the article titled “As some businesses look for ways around ObamaCare, others attack the law directly”, Mike Emmanuel investigates the different ways people try to salvage themselves from the cutting edge of ObamaCare’s sharp sword. It seems that most people are worried about the effects of the new law, and most of them have to their own unique ways of surviving through the difficult times. Darden restaurants, one of the most concerned organizations, has set out to perform a number of tests on possible ways to evade the effects of ObamaCare, in the event of Obama’s re-election as the President of the United States of America. Jeff, Darden’s spokesman, indicated that the tests sought to establish the Health Care Reform Act’s implementation costs to the firm. They would then strategize on the best ways of reducing such unbearable expenses. In another statement, Westgate Resorts Chief Executive officer offered that an Obama re-election meant in inevitable layoffs of numerous workers. This would be largely as a result of additional expenses to the employers that the Health Reform Act presents.
From the above coverage of the two media sources, CNN and FOXnews, it is clear that they have different approaches in the way they cover events in respect of Health Care Reform Act. They touch on different matters that people associate with Obama Care. CNN has handled this matter quite differently from other news sources, such as the FoxNews media channel.
In the different news coverage that CNN tackles, there appears to be a balance between the merits and demerits of ObamaCare. In almost each article, the reporters try to point out both sides of the Health Care Reform Act. Essentially, they do not lean on the opposition’s side too much to offend the proposition group. In other words, articles throughout the CNN’s coverage of the hotly debatable issue of Health Care Reform Act try to express the opinions both in favor or otherwise.
On the other hand, the articles of Health Care Reform Act in FoxNews appear to lean on the demerits of ObamaCare. Most of the articles on the official website of FoxNews try to give more space to the opposing side than the proposing side as regards the health care plan that President Barrack Obama intends to implement, starting in the year 2014. In simple words, the coverage of Health Care Reform Act is subjective on the part of FoxNews media source. Their coverage mostly favors the opposition of the Health Care Reform Act. They seem to express their own point of view by concentrating on those statements that highlight the flaws in President Obama’ Health Plan for the United States of America.
Aljazeera is a non-commercial media channel disseminates important world news to people across different continents. It is currently one of the world famous news sources with television channels in many parts of the globe including the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. It offers one of the most reliable media coverage in the world today.
In one article on its official website, Aljazeera reported that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the month of June, 2012 bolstered President Obama’s campaign for the top job in the most powerful nation on earth. The article says that the ruling of the Supreme Court aided President Obama in getting the Health Care plan that he found in place. In the ruling, the Supreme Court Judge ruled that those people who can afford to buy can do so, and those who cannot stand to benefit from the federal government’s health plan.
In a different coverage, Aljazeera reporter John Stoehr, hails the court’s decision to uphold the ObamaCare. He points out that in spite of the several controversial points that people still hold about Health Care Reform Act. He uses the title of “ObamaCare: A tax that’s good for you”. This is already a sign that the Aljazeera person approves of the court ruling and feels that it is beneficial to the common citizen. It is a plan that will ease the burden of health care on the middle class individuals and give them a chance to live a decent life. He concludes that the President anchored his hopes of clinching the presidency for a second four-year term on the constitutionality of this law. In case the court had ruled in favor of the plaintiff, the President’s chances of winning the election would have become a nightmare for him and his supporters.
In Aljazeera’s coverage of the subject, most of the remarks appear to be an enthusiasm about the ruling of the court in favor of the ObamaCare. The reporters openly declare how people will benefit from the scheme while at the same trying to acknowledge the hurdles that the law still faces before its implementation. As much as the ruling of the Supreme Court’s ruling boosts President Obama’s re-election campaigns, there were still difficult tasks ahead, for the president and his team.
In comparison, there is very little difference in the coverage of the event by the commercial and non-commercial media sources. The most probable cause of any disparity is just a matter of internal policies which may differ among commercial media sources. This could be the same in non-commercial media coverage, as well.
In the FoxNews, there seems to be some element of bias in that they mostly lean on the opposition against the health plan. On the contrary, CNN, which is a commercial media source like FoxNews, seems to balance between the opposition and proposition views about the Health Care Reform Act. Aljazeera, which is a non-commercial media source, lies between the two commercial media sources in their level of biasness in respect of the Health Care Reform Act.
In the modern world, media freedom gives many media sources the permission to cover different events of national, regional and international significance. Print media, television and the modern way of using the internet to access massive information sources allow people to receive first hand information anytime, anywhere. The internet, an instrumental way of communicating offers features that enable information consumers to obtain all forms of media on their computers. Health Care Reform Act of the United States has been not only a matter of concern among local citizens but an issue of international interest. As a result, various media channels have been keeping a keen on its progress and its consequential events with the sole purpose of informing the people. In so doing, each media source employs its own approach as long they follow accepted norms and regulations.