Saturday, April 16, 2011

Truth in Media

Dean Baker posts an article on his blog Beat the Press to point out how truth is whittled down and dressed up in the media:
Medicare Costs More Under Ryan Plan and the Iraq War Costs More Than a Hamburger

The NYT produced its entry in the understatement of the year contest telling readers that:

"A Congressional Budget Office review of the Ryan proposal predicted that retirees would pay more for their health care under it than they would under traditional Medicare."

Yes, this is true. But this is not a question of spending a few extra dollars a month for health care under the Ryan plan. The CBO projections show that under the Ryan plan, seniors would soon be spending more than half of their income to buy a Medicare equivalent plan. This is both due to the cost shifting from the government to individuals, but even more importantly CBO projects that Ryan's plan will lead to much higher health care expenses since it will be less effective in containing costs than the traditional Medicare program.

The CBO projections imply that Ryan's plan would add more than $30 trillion to the cost of providing Medicare equivalent policies over the program's 75-year planning period. The additional cost under the Ryan plan is an amount that is approximately equal to $100,000 for every person in the country or 6 times the size of the projected Social Security shortfall. This sum is the pure waste, it does not count the costs shifted from the government to seniors.
Yep, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is a boat that is bigger than a bathtub. Oh, and the Empire State Building has more floors than my bungalow. All true statements. All can be "honestly" reported by the media. But they leave out a je ne sais quoi, an essence, a hint of the truth... the one is so much bigger than the other that it is implicitly a lie to talk of them as being in the same category.

Those retirees expecting to pay "more" on their medical care are going to be surprised big time when they discover it requires half their income to cover the missing dollars. Won't that be a surprise! Won't the Republicans have a knee slappin' good old time about that fast one they pulled?

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