NPR : News

Filed Under:

How Opponents Won The Health Care Messaging War

OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.

But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.

It seems that during the pivotal period during which the legislation was being crafted (and the public was forming an opinion), from June 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, nearly half the media coverage (49 percent) "focused on politics and strategy as well as the legislative process." How much focused on what the measure would actually do? Just 23 percent.

The study also measured how often media reports mentioned terms used by opponents of the bill, such as "government-run," or "rationing health care," compared to those used by supporters, such as "pre-existing conditions" or "more competition." It found that terms used by opponents "were far more present in media reports than terms associated with arguments supporting the bill."

Despite the success of opponents in messaging, however, the public remains largely split over the law, with most polls showing a majority of Democrats supporting it, and a somewhat larger majority of Republicans opposing it.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Aviator Beryl Markham Soars Again In 'Paris Wife' Author's New Book

"It is my fate to illuminate the lives of these one-of-a-kind notable women that have been somehow forgotten by history," says Paula McClain. She shines her spotlight on Markham in Circling the Sun.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

SuperPACs Report Their Funds — And The Numbers Are Staggering

SuperPACs released their latest funding numbers Friday, and already it's clear that the committees' roles in 2016 will be gargantuan.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.