Journalists shouldn’t declare Obamacare a ‘mess’


I was disappointed in the Union-Bulletin on Sunday when a front-page headline referred to the president’s health-care plan rollout as a “mess.” It is not the journalist’s job to insert his or her own opinion when reporting news, unless it is specified as news commentary or placed in the editorial page of a newspaper.

This practice has become more and more prevalent in today’s highly charged, partisan political news media. It is definitely not fair, because it stirs the emotions, often shutting off a listener’s or reader’s rational thinking processes. When a journalist inserts his or her own value system, those readers who agree may happily have their biases affirmed, while those listeners or readers who disagree may become upset at the journalist’s skipping of the information for which any reader could use to help make a conclusion on their own.

“Obamacare” is not, by design, something the president should have put his signature upon, because when any snag has arisen in the rollout of this complicated system, the opposition jumps all over the president with its emotion-charged statements. People parrot the media, and may shrink from disagreeing with opinions presented by news anchors or newspaper editors, for want of being on the winning side of a political issue.

“Obamacare” is not the same as “public option” or single-payer. It is a combination of choices of private health insurance or choosing one of the health insurance “exchanges” — those which are expansions of Medicaid for states who decide to participate.

This plan was not the most straightforward, efficient nor cost-saving plan that could have been put on the table, in my opinion, but was a compromise made when Congress bargained between the two political parties. The end product was designed similarly to the signature “Romneycare.”

“Mess?” Not in my perspective. But my point is that it is not for the news journalists to dump their emotional wording on the public. Let the public decide and react with its own inner emotions by reporting pertinent information.

There was an ad in the Sunday Union-Bulletin where reporter Alfred Diaz described himself as a fair and concise reporter. After reading several of his articles over many months covering local news, I have to agree with him. If more news journalists were like him, I would find it a refreshing change for the better.

Sharon K. Schiller

Walla Walla


bj84711 1 year, 3 months ago

First there was no compromise. It was shoved down our throats by only Democrats. Also it is a MESS.


downhillracer 1 year, 3 months ago

Sources, please. Not hyperbole.

Voted by a majority, confirmed by the re-election of the President by a multi-million vote margin. Affirmed by the Supreme Court. Yup, that's the definition of "shoved down our throats".

Excellent commentary on the difference between true reporting, and opinion. Thanks, Ms. Schiller.


mspinks 1 year, 3 months ago

Voted by a majority of DEMS. The re-election of Obama was not an affirmation of the ACA. And the Supreme Court decision was based on whether the penalty for not having insurance could be considered a tax....not whether they thought it was a great law. How about you go to the WA exchange and report back to us what your premiums and deductibles will be if you were forced to go that route. Your opinion then of just how affordable you think this law is will be very interesting.


PearlY 1 year, 3 months ago

How's Obama himself as a source for the reality that it was passed on a partisan basis? Or was he just being hyperbolic?

Enjoy the way that Obama also, in that quote, manages to try to blame the mess on the Republicans, as if they somehow had a role in who was hired to administer the system.

As for "confirmed by the re-election" haven't you watched Obama twist and dodge to keep from acknowledging that he and Congressional Democrats had lied through their teeth with their promises of "if you like your plan you can keep it" and how the Administration had delayed rule-making until after the election to keep people from finding out about his lies, with the result that there was too little time to actually develop the system?

I didn't see and can't find the original article Ms. Schiller talks about, so it may well have been an opinion piece instead of straight reporting, but even if not, at some point something that is acknowledged by its own creators to be a mess can fairly be called a mess by journalists.


downhillracer 1 year, 3 months ago

A majority is a majority, regardless of party affiliation. And you don't think the years of obstructionism -versus actually legislating productive solutions - hasn't caused the system to have a difficult launch?

I personally am getting a GREAT deal, and no longer deal with a pre-existing condition that previously kept me from obtaining coverage. Thanks for asking.

The Speaker of the House seems to have gotten a good deal, too. Look! No more tears:


namvet60 1 year, 3 months ago

From the ignorance and psychotic words of downhillracer:

"Gee, the "" as a reliable source of unbiased news. Nice! Completely out of context, this is known - to those who didn't flunk debate - as a "false equivalent ".

Apparently you did flunk!


downhillracer 1 year, 3 months ago

Well, at least your consistent with the inability to have an original thought.


mspinks 1 year, 3 months ago

The lowest premium I can get is $178.70 with a $6,000 deductible and total out of pocket of $6,350. Tell us all the GREAT deal you are supposedly getting.


barracuda 1 year, 3 months ago

Even the polls show that if the elections were held today, Obama would lose to Romney.Many Sources.

Mr. Obama lied his way back into the White house. His Lies are amazing.

He is going down in polls. His Healthcare act was put into law by Democrats only! See who did vote for it here. It seems to be a straight split.... Liberals/Conservatives.

And now he is changing laws WITHOUT proper channels, He is extending the signup dead line for the Mandatory sign up. This is against the law! He has to get the congress's approval FIRST! text.

Oh that's right, He gets the laws changed to fit his Agenda!

Wow, yep we need to cut the reporter and Obama some slack.... Right!

So much of these problems could have been avoided if the Liberal media would have looked into it HALF as much as the conservatives did....... There is a lot of " I told you so's" going around right now....


Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in