The Crime of Omission: The Times Narrows the Health Care Debate

Yesterday's Times article, 2008 candidates vow to overhaul U.S. Health Care, does its readers a great disservice. While they outline possible "overhauls" of the health care system by 2008 hopefuls (a generous word, given that the boldest proposal among those featured, John Edward's, still keeps the system in tact, and run by the private insurers), they manage to narrow the debate in an unforgivable way, through an egregious omission.

The article fails to make even one mention of the existence of a health care plan, HR676 Medicare for All, that 1) would actually overhaul the current system and give everyone access to health care 2) is written into a bill and has 80 cosponsors, the support of the AFL-CIO, and the majority of the country and 3) was introduced by a candidate for president, Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Kucinich is a long-shot candidate, that is true. But Sen. Joe Biden, also a hopeless long-shot, got an entire article written about him today ... just for talking. So a couple sentences about a health care plan that has massive support hardly seems out-of-place in an article about health care proposals from presidential candidates.

This is a sad example of how the media narrowly frames the debate, and in doing so, serves to thwart a healthy understanding of policy matters. It is unforgivable coming from the paper of record.