'World News' Blasts Medicare Competitors in One-Sided Story
ABC â€śWorld News with Charles Gibsonâ€ť is making a case for socialized medicine one day at a time. This time it targeted one of the newscastâ€™s key demographics â€“ senior citizens.
â€śMillions of older Americans are facing an important decision right now,â€ť â€śanchor Charles Gibson said. â€śAnd some hard sell insurance agents see them as easy targets. Every December, seniors choose between Medicare or any of dozens of private plans that compete with the government. This year, almost 9 million opted for the private plans. And as ABCâ€™s David Muir reports, some now have serious regrets.â€ť
The December 20 â€śWorld Newsâ€ť used one piece of anecdotal evidence of where private insurance allegedly didnâ€™t work. A 76-year-old man from Chickasha, Okla., named Bobby Box ran up a $45,000 in medical bills but didnâ€™t realize his Medicare Advantage Plan didnâ€™t cover some expenses when he signed up for it. Box told â€śWorld Newsâ€ť he was tricked.
â€śHe had Medicare but says an insurance agent told him he could do better and enrolled him in a private plan, a so-called Medicare Advantage Plan,â€ť Muir said. â€śHundreds of companies now sell these plans to seniors, and sometimes these plans can work to their advantage. But the problem is in many cases, seniors are pushed to sign up, not realizing what they're getting, or as Bobby learned, what theyâ€™re not getting.â€ť
At the end of the story, ABC admitted that the plan had indeed covered his needs.
The story had no voice from private insurance providers, but did offer comment from Robert Hayes, president of the
â€śThere are millions of people who are being tricked,â€ť Hayes said.
As for the other side, the only offering was a small comment from Muir.
â€śThe insurance industry says itâ€™s cracking down on bad agents who give these plans a bad name,â€ť Muir said. â€śAs for Bobby, he fought for months and got that hospital bill paid. Heâ€™s now back on Medicare, where he believes he should have stayed in the first place.â€ť
This is the latest round of ABC favoring government health care over private options. On December 10-12, â€śWorld Newsâ€ť ran a three-part series about socialized medicine and even suggested the VA Hospital system was evidence government-ran health care works.