• It helps to completely identify those people who are making claims about health care—their backgrounds, their affiliations, and other such factors.
• Reporters and anchors should do their homework and refrain from passing on messages of groups with interests in reform one way or another, without further explanation of where these messages are coming from and why.
• Context is super important. Managed care plans run by insurance companies have been coming between patients and their doctors for years, dictating which drugs and treatments they will pay for and which ones they won’t, based on their own research into costs and benefits plus their own profit goals. Government research and recommendations presumably would be more neutral and free from any profit motives.
That point was driven home to me the same day the CNN segment aired. I saw my eye doctor pleading with an insurer to let one of his patients have a brand name glaucoma medication. She was allergic to the lower cost drugs they were insisting on. Shaking his head, he said: “This happens all the time.”