Study: TV News Systematically Ignores ObamaCare Failures

October 28th, 2016 12:58 PM

Despite skyrocketing premiums, major insurance companies backing out, and one state exchange after another failing, in all of 2016, the evening news broadcasts of ABC, CBS and NBC have only devoted 10 minutes and 21 seconds combined to ObamaCare failures. Until Bill Clinton called the Affordable Care Act “this crazy system” on October 3, ABC and NBC hadn’t covered any ObamaCare news in 2016 at all.

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Bill Clinton calls ObamaCare the “this crazy system.”

ABC World News Tonight: 58 seconds

CBS Evening News: 45 seconds

NBC Nightly News: 37 seconds


For this study, we looked for any mention or reference of ObamaCare, even if it didn’t have to do with policy. During a news report about a hospital overcharging new parents, World News Tonight played a clip of Whoopi Goldberg quipping “and I’m pretty sure you cannot blame this on ObamaCare.”

ABC World News Tonight: 4 seconds


On October 24, World News Tonight was the first to report that ObamaCare premiums were going to spike drastically. The other two networks followed with full reports the next day.

ABC: 1 minutes, 9 seconds

CBS: 1 minute, 38 seconds

NBC: 2 minutes, 24 seconds


Despite all running reports on October 25, by the next day the networks seem to have moved on. While the segment didn’t address ObamaCare’s failures, on October 26, CBS Evening News covered Congressman Todd Young, currently running for a Senate seat from Indiana, bashing his opponent, Evan Bayh, for voting for ObamaCare: “Evan Bayh cast his deciding vote for ObamaCare after ignoring the plea of tens of thousands of Hoosiers.” ABC and NBC didn’t mention the health care law at all.

CBS Evening News: 28 seconds

ObamaCare’s collapse wasn’t as sudden or surprising as the broadcast evening news shows might lead you to believe. As NewsBusters previously reported, ObamaCare failures throughout the year were either ignored, or only reported by CBS Evening News, and even then only in passing.