Newspapers Fail to Recognize Liberal Leanings of Families USA

From windy Washington, D.C., to sunny Palm Beach, Florida, the liberal print media are refusing to note the liberal bent of an interest group vocal in the health care debate.

The March 26 edition of the Palm Beach Post -- a broadsheet notorious to conservatives for its unbalanced treatment of Rush Limbaugh -- featured not one but two articles which pushed government-run universal health care. In both of them, the Post asserted that Floridians are dying daily due to a lack of health care coverage.

The source for the Post’s assertion was a recent study by the liberal group Families USA. Not surprisingly, the Post described the organization as simply a “nonpartisan” group that advocates for “comprehensive health care” while conveniently leaving out the group’s liberal tendencies, its support of socialist-style universal healthcare and that its political allies include liberal Democratic politicians such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)

Families USA was also responsible in 2007 for a TV ad called “Bush vs. Kids” which sought to expand the SCHIP program well beyond low-income families. The reauthorization bill of the SCHIP would have raised the general federal income eligibility threshold from 200 percent to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. What’s more, on its Web site, the group denounces conservative-friendly policies such as President Bush’s Healthcare Tax Deduction Proposal as well as Health Savings Accounts, both endorsed by President Bush.

Other Sunshine State papers have also recently published stories pushing Families USA’s agenda. The Orlando Sentinel and the St. Petersburg Times both picked up the same study as the Palm Beach Post and asserted that a number of Floridians die each day due to a lack of health insurance. Both of these papers, like the Post, failed to note Families USA’s liberal leanings. The Sentinel called the group a “national organization for health care consumer” and the Times referred to the organization as a “national advocacy group.” The Times, however, also failed to note the Democratic party affiliation of two U.S. Representatives from Florida who, as the Times reported, participated in a Families USA conference call regarding the study and said that reform is needed to make healthcare more available.

Outside of Florida, Michelle Singletary, the Washington Post’s personal finance columnist, wrote an article published on March 16 in which the columnist described Families USA as a “non profit, national organization that advocates for high quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.” This description comes right from the “About Us” section of the organization’s website. Later in the article, Singletary attempts to guilt those with insurance into supporting the ideas of Families USA by explaining that those without insurance, particularly minorities, are “the workers and caregivers who provide needed services” as opposed to people who “just want a handout.” I wonder what she thinks of conservatives who don’t support socialized health care. Singletary usually advocates for personal responsibility for things such as not overusing credit cards and getting into debt. But apparently, personal responsibility doesn’t apply to healthcare. Why should it when the government can take care of it for you?

Media Bias Debate Health Care Labeling Liberals & Democrats SCHIP Medical Insurance Florida Washington Post Palm Beach Post Orlando Sentinel St. Petersburg Times Michelle Singletary

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