The good reporting doesn’t end there. A retired physician who volunteers at Rochester’s St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center talked at some length about the virtues of a single-payer system, something else that is rarely mentioned. The doc, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, explained why single-payer proposals do not equate to socialized medicine, despite charges to the contrary. (On the other side, a man who attended a Rochester health care forum got to say he was afraid if the government took over the health care system, that would be the end of it.) The reporter also presented the views of Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, which, predictably, complained about the restrictive regulations that made coverage for small business and individuals unaffordable. The piece ended with a discussion of the Catholic Health Association’s moral argument for reform, and noted that, rather than endorsing any specific approach, the Association advocates reform standards like fair financing, transparency, and accessibility.
All in all, the piece was fair, balanced, and informative. I have just one quibble: Early on, the story says that Obama would create a “national health plan available to all and funded in part by employers who do not offer health insurance.” There’s that word “national” again. The word has come to imply universality of coverage and a national health insurance program, like those in other developed countries, funded through a national financing system and available to everyone as a matter of right. Neither candidate proposes that, and it’s best that reporters get the terms straight. But more on that in another post.