On The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired a clip of Sen. John McCain saying of health care plans put forward by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama: "This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly." In fact, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "government monopoly" on insurance coverage; rather, both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
The New York Post's Charles Hurt wrote that when Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed national health-care reform as first lady, "Americans revolted over her proposals," adding that "she still doesn't understand that most people believe the federal government is the only thing that could actually make health care worse." In fact, recent polling suggests that a majority of Americans support health-care reform proposals that expand the government's role.
On Fox News, Sean Hannity said to Sen. John McCain, "You've said three times in the last week or week and a half that you promised no new taxes. You mean none." In response, McCain said, "None." However, in a Wall Street Journal interview, McCain did not rule out raising taxes. Later in the Fox News interview, Hannity suggested that Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal would "nationalize health care," and McCain replied, "We tried this. We've seen this movie before back in 1993, OK? And it is a government takeover." In fact, Clinton's proposal would not "nationalize health care" or seek a "government takeover" of it.
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews asserted that "if a Democrat were smart, who gets elected president, they wouldn't go back to the old Canadian model ... single-payer model." In fact, neither Sen. Barack Obama nor Sen. Hillary Clinton has proposed a health-care plan that resembles the Canadian health-care system or a "single-payer model." Matthews also suggested that the Democratic candidates should "take something that looks practical out of Massachusetts with Mitt Romney... and put [their] name on it" and "try some kind of mandated benefit." However, Obama's and Clinton's health-care proposals both include "mandated benefit[s]," and Clinton's plan has drawn comparisons to the plan Romney implemented in Massachusetts.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly aired a portion of a speech in which Sen. Barack Obama said in part, "[T]here's never been anything false about hope." O'Reilly then stated: "Got it. Faith and charity are good, too. We love hope, faith, charity, all that. But that doesn't wipe out the Taliban inside Pakistan or pay for a trillion-dollar entitlement, universal health care." But contrary to O'Reilly's suggestion, Obama has outlined a strategy to combat terrorism in Pakistan and laid out how he plans to pay for his health-care proposal.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote that Sen. Barack Obama's "signature legislation as a state senator, the Health Care Justice Act, merely set up a panel to craft a plan," not, as Obama claimed, "expanded health care in Illinois by bringing Democrats and Republicans together, by taking on the insurance industry." In fact, Obama sponsored a bill that expanded health insurance programs for low-income families in Illinois. Following that bill's passage, more than 150,000 additional people reportedly received health insurance through the programs.
A New York Times article on Sen. Hillary Clinton's proposed health care plan noted that "the Republican National Committee [RNC] sent an e-mail message challenging Mrs. Clinton's promise that her plan would not be government-run or produce new bureaucracy, quoting eight commentators and analysts who assert that government would inevitably expand." But the article didn't identify the RNC's "commentators and analysts" -- a group that included Tucker Carlson, the Orange County Register editorial page, right-wing think tank analysts, and former Republican officials.
CNN's Gloria Borger claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton "has a bit of a credibility problem when it comes to health care because ... she had the debacle in 1993." But polling shows that, if Clinton were to be elected president, most voters believe her past experience during the Clinton administration would help her in reforming health care.
An article in The Hill described Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care plan as "com[ing]" with "a heavy price tag complete with federal mandates and vague in some key areas," adding, "She estimated it would cost $110 billion per year." While the article quoted from a Clinton campaign press release describing the plan, it did not note that the release addresses how the plan would be paid for.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer said that the health care program proposed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 was "1,000 pages, if you remember, the detail, all the fine print the last time" and claimed that "[e]verybody remembers that weird chart they had trying to explain it," falsely suggesting that the Clinton administration created the chart to explain its health care proposal. In fact, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter's office created the chart, and press reports at the time cited experts or administration officials saying that the chart distorted the Clinton proposal and ignored the greater complexity of Republican proposals and of the existing system.
Fox News' Steve Brown claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton would pay for her health care plan by "repealing the Bush tax cuts." Brown's report was accompanied by on-screen text that claimed "paying the price tag" for Clinton's health care plan would include "End[ing] Bush Tax Cuts." In fact, according to Clinton's plan, she would "discontinue portions of the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000."
During a report on Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal, CNN's Betty Nguyen aired Mitt Romney's attack on the plan, but claimed that, "like Clinton, he'd mandate health insurance." But in announcing his national health reform plan in August, Romney declined to support mandates in what was reportedly a "significant" departure "from the universal health care measure that he helped forge as governor of Massachusetts."
During a one-hour report on ABC's 20/20 on "America's health-care system," co-host John Stossel interviewed five advocates of free-market approaches to health care but only one advocate of increased government-mandated health coverage. The five free-market advocates were interviewed on air for a total of 6 minutes, 24 seconds, while the lone advocate of a public health system, filmmaker Michael Moore, was interviewed on air for a total of 1:40.