As we’ve noted, insurers and employers are waging an all-out war to rid themselves of the taxes meant to pay for the subsidies at the heart of the health reform law, the money meant to help those who cannot afford health care to buy it. This includes not only a tax on medical devices, but a tax imposed on insurers, which they in turn are likely to pass on to employers in the form of higher premiums. This tax on insurers is also aimed at funding subsidies.

Obamacare’s enemies, which include the National Federation of Independent Business, have their own studies that they where cite to bolster their claims.
The Stop the Hit campaign website notes that the tax will be a “hit on job creation” and translates into restrictions on the ability of businesses “to grow and create jobs.”

So we have a situation with competing studies that offer different conclusions. What’s a reporter to do? Read them all, I say, and weigh the quality of the evidence, credibility of the sponsors, and exactly what questions were asked. And beware of presenting false equivalence. On this one, though, even some he-said/she-said dueling conclusions, are better than what ONNtv did—letting a candidate’s rhetoric stand on its own.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.