Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Herald Leader reporter clarifies ObamaCare bias

A Lexington Herald Leader political reporter went on a left-wing podcast published today and destroyed any semblance of objectivity he might have had on ObamaCare.

"The opposition to (ObamaCare) --and I feel this is the case pretty much around the country -- is not for people who don't have health insurance," said reporter Sam Youngman here. "Signing up half of Kentucky's 640,000 uninsured population in the first enrollment period is pretty impressive."

Several problems jump out for Mr. Youngman's claims of objectivity after this brief quote. It is an objective fact that at least a large portion of those who gained ObamaCare coverage did so only after becoming uninsured because of ObamaCare. And understanding negative consequences of policy is indisputably more a function of an awareness of economics than of whether or not one has health insurance. Destruction of the health insurance market under ObamaCare manifests itself in higher premiums and deductibles, very limited coverage options, expensive but unusable coverage mandates and narrow provider networks and is not fixed by income-based subsidies. In fact, in every market where subsidies are used they expose failed policy, rather than fix it. Any way you slice it, defining opposition to ObamaCare as consisting of people with health insurance requires a naked bias that contradicts any pretense to journalistic balance.

The estimate of Kentucky's uninsured population from the Beshear administration is an outdated guess. Decades of experience with government guesses of uninsured populations suggest at least some -- and probably a lot of -- inflation. By any measure, the largest recent contributor to any expansion in the uninsured population is ObamaCare itself. Less recently, steadily increasing government activity has actually created much of the problem. A federal mandate, an aggressive state and federal marketing campaign and expensive federal subsidies rolled out with the absurd goal of fixing largely government created problems requires very low levels of cynicism or even curiosity for someone who is supposed to dig up information for a living to find "pretty impressive."

And let alone the fact that the state has been forced into the worst of this nonsense by a governor who had to ignore state law to do it, falsify court documents in attempting to keep it and is even now scrambling around for cash to keep the illegal enterprise afloat.

All this time I thought Sam Youngman avoided writing the other side of the ObamaCare story because his editors wouldn't let him, but it appears he is a true believer.