In reports on President Bush's latest threat to veto legislation increasing funding by $35 billion for a health plan for poor children, neither NBC's Nightly News, ABC's World News, nor the CBS Evening News noted that Bush's alternative proposal -- a $5 billion expansion over five years -- would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, underfund the program by approximately $9* billion.
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.
Good Morning America aired a preview of John Stossel's "Whose Body is it Anyway? Sick in America," which contained an interview with one expert, David Gratzer, whom Stossel identified only as an author and "Canadian doctor." Stossel failed to note that Gratzer is a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute or that the World Health Organization ranks Canada and Great Britain -- whose nationalized health systems he criticized for their long waits -- ahead of the United States in its ranking of world health systems. At the end of Stossel's report, Diane Sawyer told him: "It is so hard to get perspective on this. Thank heaven you're doing it."