But it’s important to move past the scare stories and into the details, because that’s the only way the press coverage can provide information that might help thousands of viewers navigate the system themselves. This segment did a disservice to NBC viewers. Before the network does another Medicare story, it would be a good idea for its producers to sit in on a Medicare counseling session at one of the state health insurance assistance programs and learn how the program works.

(Note: While the IBM retiree story is still available as part of Tuesday’s full episode on the NBC site, going to the link for the segment itself yields the following message: “This video is no longer available.” On Wednesday I asked NBC spokesperson Erika Masonhall for an explanation; she said she would look into it but at press time had not provided more information.)

Related content:

Medicare Uncovered: the insurers’ latest campaign

Medicare Uncovered: Parsing Sen. Corker’s big bill

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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.