CBS Finally Discovers ObamaCare Price Spike, Baffled as to Plan’s Problems

The baffled journalists at CBS finally discovered what should be a massive story: ObamaCare premiums will skyrocket in 2017 by 25 percent. Yet, after ignoring the story on Monday, CBS This Morning allowed a scant 88 seconds on Tuesday. This is despite the fact that co-host Norah O’Donnell called the development a “big story” and “really interesting.” NBC, which also initially skipped the report, managed to cover it on Tuesday. 

On CBS, Gayle King explained that “millions of Americans face a huge increase in ObamaCare premiums and fewer insurance choices.” She oddly stated that “about one in five consumers will be able to choose from only one provider.” (If you have only one option, it’s not a “choice.”) After O’Donnell’s 32 second news brief, O’Donnell, without any irony, marveled, “That’s a big story.” 

In the 8AM hour, the show’s hosts came back to the story, but only for another 56 seconds. After explaining that consumers in 39 states will be hit by this price hike, O’Donnell marveled, “We need a bigger understanding of why this is happening.”  As though the problems with ObamaCare were completely foreign, she sputtered: 

NORAH O’DONNELL: Because the idea was not only to spread coverage around, but that by spreading the coverage around, not only help people get more preventative care. But then it would ultimately bring costs down. And instead, the premiums are skyrocketing! 

CHARLIE ROSE: And so the question is, what happened? 

O'DONNELL: Yeah. And who's profiting on this? 

She closed the brief segment by reiterating, “It's a really interesting story.” Of course, considering that the CBS program allowed less than a minute and a half total, it can’t be that “big” or interesting." 

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NBC censored the health care news on Monday night, but mentioned it in on NBC’s Today for a mere 58 seconds (in a news brief and as part of a separate story). Matt Lauer used the same contradictory language, saying, “Many consumers will only have one insurer to choose from.” Reporter Hallie Jackson included the President’s spin, promoting, “The administration argues things are better now than before the law was passed.”   

ABC covered the price increase on World News Tonight, Monday, but only in a brief. On Good Morning America, Amy Robach allowed 13 seconds: 

AMY ROBACH: Well, get ready for sticker shock if you're looking into the price of ObamaCare plans. The average premiums are expected to rise by 25 percent next year. Many consumers will also be limited to choosing plans from just one provider. 

Notice that she, too, used the language of one option being a “choice.” 

The totals for Tuesday: CBS allowed 88 seconds. NBC managed 58 seconds and ABC just 13 seconds. Perhaps the networks just aren’t interested in talking about an issue that could be very unpopular for Hillary Clinton. 

Transcripts of the CBS coverage can be found below: 

CBS This Morning 
10/25/16
7:12AM ET
32 seconds 

GAYLE KING: Millions of Americans face a huge increase in ObamaCare premiums and fewer insurance choices. The government says the cost of health care next year will increase by an average of 25 percent and that will hit consumers in 39 states. Major carriers are dropping out in some markets. About one in five consumers will be able to choose from only one provider. Government numbers so about two and a half million Americans not currently enrolled could be eligible for subsidies to offset cost increases. Open enrollment begins next week. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: That’s a big story. 

8:08AM ET
56 seconds 

CHARLIE ROSE: Millions of Americans will face big price hikes and fewer choices when ObamaCare open enrollment begins. The government says the cost of mid-level health plans next year will increase by an average of 25 percent. That will hit consumers in 39 states. Major carriers are dropping out in some markets. About one in five consumers will be able to choose from only one provider. Government numbers show about two and a half million Americans not currently enrolled could be eligible for subsidies to offset cost increases. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: We need a bigger understanding of why this is happening. 

ROSE: We sure do. 

O’DONNELL: You know? Because the idea was not only to spread coverage around, but that by spreading the coverage around, not only help people get more preventative care. But then it would ultimately bring costs down. And instead, the premiums are skyrocketing! 

ROSE: And so the question is, what happened?  

O’DONNELL: Yeah. And who's profiting on this? 

GAYLE KING: And what can be done? 

O’DONNELL: Or is the way the law set up, failed? It’s a really interesting story.    


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