CNN went searching for an example of health care reform without a public option on Aug. 20. Correspondent Jim Acosta found such a “ model” in
“What do you get when you take the public option out of health care reform? Well, according to some experts you get Romney Care,” Acosta said. “Three years after enacting its own version of reform,
Acosta included former Gov. Mitt Romney, Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation and Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health in his segment -- all supporting Romney Care.
But the experts’ background wasn’t mentioned in the report. Acosta identified Widmer as a “taxpayer watchdog,” without mentioning that he worked for Democratic Gov. Michael Dukakis in the 1970s. Blendon was identified as a “health care expert,” but there was nothing about the fact that he has co-directed a project for National Public Radio and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (a liberal group) and has given several campaign donations to Democrats including Sen. Edward Kennedy, Committee for a Democratic Majority, John Kerry, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and five separate donations to the DNC.
CNN also took a cheap shot at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, asking Romney if “you think it’s OK for the governor of
Acosta didn’t include anyone critical of the
Roberts replied by pointing out that cost control is “the centerpiece of health care reform.”
Michael Tanner of Cato Institute wrote a briefing paper in June pointing out a number of problems with the
According to Tanner, health care costs in
Acosta’s report was another example of the failure of reporters to critically examine the