The media’s coverage of the incoming GOP-controlled House of Representatives could be called the March of the Mean Words. When Democrats ascend to power, they pass “historic” and “landmark reforms.” When Republicans do the same, the media argot is colorful and violent, sending unsubtle meat-axe messages of conservative “assaults” and “attacks.” See an Associated Press dispatch on plans for an Obamacare-repeal vote. AP began:
The House's new Republican majority plans to vote to repeal Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul before he even shows up in their chamber to give his State of the Union address....
Full repeal of the health care law is still a long shot. The House vote would be just the first, easiest step. But House Republicans vow they will follow up with dozens of attempts to hack away at what they derisively call "Obamacare."
Democrats create "accomplishments." Apparently, Republicans can only "hack away derisively." Conservatives have nothing positive to offer? Not if you're an AP reporter in Washington. It continued:
At the White House, spokesman Reid Cherlin said Obama would have no qualms about delivering his State of the Union speech to lawmakers who've just repudiated his signature accomplishment, one that Democrats compare with the establishment of Social Security and Medicare. The president "feels pretty confident about defending the health care law," Cherlin said.
Senate Democrats agree. In Monday's letter to Boehner, Majority Leader Reid and top lieutenants said repeal would undermine improvements already on the books, such as deep discounts on brand-name drugs for Medicare recipients who have fallen into a coverage gap called the "doughnut hole."
"This proposal deserves a chance to work," the Democratic leaders said. "It is too important to be treated as collateral damage in a partisan mission to repeal health care."
Then there remains the sticky question of public opinion. AP unfurls this misleading whopper: "Polls show that some parts of the law are popular, and many Americans would have wanted even bigger changes."
Polls show that overall, ObamaCare is unpopular. The Polling Report website shows CNN's latest poll (December 17-19) found 43 percent in favor, 54 percent opposed. Large majorities favor (when asked by liberal-leaning pollsters) provisions forbidding insurance companies from dropping coverage for seriously ill people and denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. But a larger majority opposes the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, which AP doesn't want to mention.
AP ignored its own poll of November 17-21 that found 57 percent of respondents felt ObamaCare would add to the deficit, and only 14 percent believed White House claims that it would reduce the deficit. When asked if an increased deficit would be worth it for the benefits of ObamaCare, 25 percent said “worth it” and 72 percent said “not worth it.”
AP also ignored its own poll of November 3-8 that showed 38 percent approved of the “landmark” Obama law, while 47 percent disapproved. However, they were probably referring to their own numbers on the “wanting even bigger changes” claims. When they asked what Congress should do next, 20 percent said leave it alone, 38 percent said “change it so it does more,” while 8 percent said “change it so it does less,” and 31 percent said “Repeal it completely.”