Health Care

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  • CNN’s Stephen Moore Accidentally Confirms Trump Was Lying About Commitment To Protect Medicaid

    Moore: Medicaid Cuts Were “Central To Our Plan All Along,” Contrary To Trump’s Public Statements

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Discredited right-wing economic pundit and former Trump campaign economic adviser Stephen Moore accidentally let slip that gutting the Medicaid program “was central” to President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal Obamacare, despite the president’s repeated assertions that he would not touch the program. The statement corroborates admissions Moore made at a private event last July, when he claimed that Trump would fund massive tax cuts and reckless spending by dismantling programs that provide basic living standards for millions of Americans.

    During the May 8 edition of CNN Newsroom, Moore -- CNN’s “senior economics analyst” -- was joined by University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee to discuss the merits of billionaire businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett’s argument that the Trump health care agenda amounts to little more than a tax cut for the rich funded by cuts to health care subsidies for low-income Americans. Goolsbee pointed out that Trump’s health care legislation “cuts taxes for high-income people by hundreds of billions of dollars” at the expense of Medicare and Medicaid, which Trump promised “he would never cut.” Moore interjected falsely: “He never said that we weren’t going to reform Medicaid,” arguing, “That was central to our plan all along”:

    Moore’s claim was debunked on air by co-hosts John Berman and Poppy Harlow, as well as Goolsbee, who cited Trump’s tweets and public statements as proof that he had broken his promise to protect Medicaid. Reporters who tuned in for the performance also noted Moore’s false statement. Moore accepted Berman’s correction before quickly pivoting to talking points extolling the virtues of converting Medicaid to block grants, which would also amount to a massive benefit cut for recipients.

    Moore’s secondary claim that gutting Medicaid was “central to our plan all along” drew little notice from the fact-checkers, but it sheds light on Trump’s real agenda. According to a September 7 article from HuffPost political reporter Christina Wilkie, Moore had outlined Trump’s often contradictory economic plans during a “question-and-answer session” at a private July 14 meeting of the conservative Council for National Policy (CNP) in Cleveland, OH. During the event, Moore suggested that Trump planned to pay for his costly economic agenda by removing supposedly onerous public protections imposed by the federal government and enacting “draconian public assistance reforms and cuts in social services.” Since taking office, Trump has proposed a budget and health care agenda that would fulfill those promises. As the article noted, Moore’s zeal for tearing down anti-poverty programs, including Medicaid, seems to undermine Trump’s claim that he would focus on “looking out for the downtrodden.” It also confirms that imposing this harsh agenda -- and lying about it -- was indeed “central to” the Trump team’s economic plan “all along.”

  • Trumpcare: What Happened To The Press’s Obsession With Bipartisan Votes?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Remember when President Barack Obama was sworn into office in 2009 and the Beltway press quickly established guidelines for judging his legislative successes and failures? I called it the Bipartisan Trap, and the rigid rule looked like this: If Republicans refused to support Democratic bills, it was all Obama’s fault. Period.

    It was an extraordinary approach for the press to take, putting the onus for outreach on the new Democratic president. Why couldn’t he reason with Republicans, journalists wondered? Why didn’t he schmooze them more? Why didn’t Obama, having just won a mandate via a landslide victory in 2008, immediately placate Republicans?

    No matter whether it was Republicans refusing to allow a vote on a background check gun bill that boasted 90 percent approval rating with voters or radical Republicans threatening to shut down the federal government, the press was often in heated agreement that it was Obama’s fault. (And if he complained, pundits said it sounded “like whining.”)

    At one point early in Obama’s presidency, NBC’s Chuck Todd actually asked the White House spokesperson if Obama would veto the Democrats' stimulus bill, which was desperately needed to help save the spiraling U.S. economy, because the bill didn’t enjoy Republican support.

    The double standard is blinding: When the Republican push to dismantle Obamacare passed the House last week without a single Democratic yes vote, the press didn’t seem to care that Trump had failed to bridge the two sides. And as the same GOP health care bill faces seamless, unanimous opposition from Democrats as it heads to the Senate, the D.C. media seem to be largely unbothered by Trump’s lack of bipartisan support. (Even though Trump promised he’d work with the other side.)

    Where are the mountains of columns complaining that Trump can't get bipartisan support? That type of media whining defined the Obama era.

    Instead, I’ve seen lots of pundits saluting a major Trump “victory” in getting the bill passed in the House, even without a single Democratic supporter. In other words, the media’s Bipartisan Trap has been quickly disassembled for the new Republican president.

    Note that the trap was used all the way up to Obama’s final week in office this year. That’s when Chris Cillizza was still lamenting that Obama couldn’t secure Republican support -- despite pledging to try to do so when he announced his run for president -- and saying that was his defining presidential shortfall.

    Now at CNN, how did Cillizza treat the GOP’s hyperpartisan health care vote last week in the House? Did he grieve over Trump's failure to bridge the two sides? Of course not. Instead, Cillizza saluted GOP leaders for getting enough votes from their “ideologically diverse caucus.”

    Did you see the sleight of hand there? As recently as January, Cillizza hit Obama for not being able to secure Republican votes. In May he credits Trump for being able to secure only Republican votes from the party’s “diverse caucus.” (Talk about a low bar.)

    From Obama’s first major piece of legislation as president, the stimulus bill, the press made it clear that the new Democratic president would be graded based on how many votes he got from the other party. 

    "The [stimulus] bill will be judged a political success not simply if it becomes law, but if it's deemed 'bipartisan' -- with joint ownership that takes a first step toward the new brand of politics Obama has promised," wrote ABC News' Rick Klein. He added that if the bill didn't pass with bipartisan support, "the luster of Obama's leadership" would "fade."

    For some reason, the press insisted Obama had all but promised during his 2008 campaign to end partisan bickering in D.C., and therefore he alone was to blame when it persisted. But Obama made no such "promise." What Obama campaigned on was the idea that he would do his best to cure gridlock in Washington -- that he would reach out to Republicans and conservatives in meaningful ways and lead by example. And he did, from day one. But Republicans had already adopted their radical strategy of obstruction.

    The media's Bipartisan Trap became even more pronounced when Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. A historic initiative designed to provide health care coverage to millions of Americans, the bill, dubbed Obamacare, passed without a single yes vote from the GOP in the House, despite Obama’s yearlong sales pitch.

    And the press was very, very concerned.

    Note this headline from The Washington Post in 2010 right after Obamacare passed: “House Passes Health-Care Reform Bill Without Republican Votes.” The lack of Republican support was so important, the Post mentioned right in the headline, and then in the second paragraph of the news story.

    How did the Post report on last week’s health care vote? “House Republicans Claim A Major Victory With Passage Of Health-Care Overhaul.” The bill’s complete lack of Democratic support wasn’t mentioned in the headline, nor until the 15th paragraph of the news story.

    The New York Times did the same thing. In 2010, following the Obamacare vote, the paper announced (emphasis added):

    But there is no doubt that in the course of this debate, Mr. Obama has lost something — and lost it for good. Gone is the promise on which he rode to victory less than a year and a half ago — the promise of a “postpartisan” Washington in which rationality and calm discourse replaced partisan bickering.

    There was no similar hand-wringing from the Times last week regarding the health care vote, which secured zero Democratic supporters in the House. Quite the contrary. The Times announced that the GOP’s House vote represented “a remarkable act of political resuscitation.”

    In other words, for Trump, who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, it’s not a sign of weakness that he can’t find common ground with the other side.

    For the Beltway press, that standard applied only to Obama.

  • Local Media Covered The GOP Health Care Bill Better Than Cable News Did

    Blog ››› ››› SALVATORE COLLELUORI & JULIE ALDERMAN

    Republican members of the House of Representatives on May 4 voted to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passing a measure that would make it harder to obtain health insurance and allow states to opt out of requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. While national cable media outlets focused on the “victory” the vote represented for President Donald Trump and the GOP or on the optics of the situation, some local media outlets in states where the impact of the legislation could be immense did a significantly better job at discussing how this bill would affect Americans. Many consulted experts to find out how gutting pre-existing conditions coverage and essential health benefits would make it harder for Americans to afford insurance.

    KVRR, Fargo, ND

    KTWO, Casper, WY

    KTVA, Anchorage, AK

    KNXV, Phoenix, AZ

    KFOR, Oklahoma City, OK

    WPVI, Philadelphia, PA

    KTNV, Las Vegas, NV

    WPLG, Miami, FL

    KNBC, Los Angeles, CA

    KMGH, Denver, CO

  • The Passage Of Trumpcare Means It Is Time To Interview Kati McFarland Again

    The “Resistance Recess” Star Said ACA Repeal Would Mean Certain Death; Americans Need To Hear Her Story

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Republican attempts to coalesce around a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were initially stymied after tens of thousands of Americans swamped constituent events across the country during a week of actions collectively known as the "Resistance Recess." One of the activists whose story caught national attention was Kati McFarland, a 25-year-old Arkansan battling chronic health conditions, whose heartfelt plea to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) helped contextualize the GOP's health care repeal agenda. Her story is now more important than ever.

    The May 4 party-line passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) means the Republican Party’s years-long crusade to “repeal and replace” Obamacare faces only one more hurdle before arriving at the president’s desk: the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. According to reporting from The Washington Post, members of the GOP caucus plan to draft and pass their own version of a health care overhaul, which may or may not reflect the disastrous principles outlined in the AHCA. An independent congressional analysis predicted the original House version would disproportionately impact poorer, older, and sicker Americans, resulting in 24 million additional uninsured adults in 10 years and an additional $337 billion in deficit spending.

    As the Senate begins deliberations over its own health care agenda, it is vital that news outlets include perspectives from the tens of millions of Americans whose lives and livelihoods may be impacted by that legislation, and share what losing access to care will mean for them.

    In February, tens of thousands of Americans flooded constituent services events around the country demanding that elected officials offer viable health care reform policies. A Media Matters analysis of cable news programming from February 18 through 26 revealed that just three of the 88 guests featured during prime-time discussions of those events were attendees affected by the outcome of the health care debate. Prime-time news programming overwhelmingly featured political reporters and pundits arguing about the optics of town halls filled with constituents demanding answers, and very little attention was paid to the residents themselves or their concerns. Kati McFarland, whose exchange with Cotton became a viral sensation, was interviewed once each by CNN and MSNBC far outside of the prime-time window that would have brought her story to millions of viewers.

    Most of the media coverage of the AHCA so far has focused on whether President Trump has finally won his first legislative victory, with reporters hyping the optics of the legislation rather than discussing the threat it represents to tens of millions of Americans. Outlets still have a chance to get the story right, and with members of the House of Representatives headed home for recess over the next week, there should be no shortage of outraged constituents willing to share their stories -- if media are willing to listen.

  • The AHCA Is Even Worse Than You've Read

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    A Media Matters study of four major newspapers’ coverage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) after it was passed by the Republican-led House found a serious lack of reporting on detrimental effects of the bill. Analysis of the coverage revealed a dearth of reporting on the AHCA’s negative impact on access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment, women’s health care, special education funding, services for the elderly, and funding for rural hospitals.

  • Wash. Post Relies On Anti-Choice Groups To Frame Coverage About Planned Parenthood

    In Story About “Defunding” Planned Parenthood, Wash. Post Favors Comments, Talking Points From Anti-Abortion Figures And Legislators

    Blog ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    After the House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) -- a bill that would eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for essential services provided by Planned Parenthood -- The Washington Post’s new health care reporter, Paige Winfield Cunningham, framed her story around reactions of, and misinformation from, anti-abortion organizations and politicians.

    On May 4, House GOP members voted to strip health care from an estimated 24 million people by 2026, “including 14 million by next year,” CNN reported, as well as eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood. In Winfield Cunningham’s first story about the vote and its effect on Planned Parenthood, she framed the conversation around the “victory” the bill represented “for conservatives who have long sought to undercut the country’s largest abortion provider” and pushed anti-choice misinformation behind such claims.

    The only Planned Parenthood representation came in a line summarizing an organization statement as saying “Congress is unfairly singling it out.” In comparison, Winfield Cunningham included quotes from three anti-abortion advocates: Vice President Mike Pence, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). In particular, Winfield Cunningham used statements from McCarthy and Dannenfelser to advance a lopsided narrative heavily favoring the anti-choice talking points that the bill stops “taxpayer funding for abortions” and that community health centers (CHCs) can easily replace Planned Parenthood.

    Planned Parenthood is not government-funded, but instead receives Medicaid reimbursements for providing care to low-income patients -- funds that are already prohibited by the Hyde Amendment from supporting abortion care. Although Winfield Cunningham acknowledged this reality -- and mentioned that losing the reimbursements “would be a heavy blow to the group” -- she undercut the point by writing that “conservatives say no abortion provider should get Medicaid reimbursements, even for health services such as cancer screenings and birth control,” because “money is all fungible.”

    Right-wing media and anti-choice organizations have long relied on the misleading claim that money is fungible to demand Planned Parenthood be defunded. However, as the Guttmacher Institute explained, this logic is deeply flawed: “Fungibility is an inherent possibility when involving the private sector in any government-subsidized activity, and the only way to avoid it would be for government agencies to exclusively provide any and all such services.” Slate’s Amanda Marcotte also previously debunked the fungibility myth in a 2015 article, noting:

    Republicans who tout the “money is fungible” line want you to imagine that Planned Parenthood draws on one big pot of government money for all its services. But since medical services are billed and funded individually, that's not actually how this works.

    Winfield Cunningham included a comment from Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) that AHCA would “gut Planned Parenthood, … affecting women across the country” but again undercut his argument by immediately adding (with a supporting quote from Dannenfelser) that “Republicans contend that community health centers have the capacity to care for Medicaid patients” and that these centers allegedly “provide a broader range of services than Planned Parenthood.”

    Although anti-choice lawmakers and right-wing media say that CHCs can and should replace Planned Parenthood clinics, experts have heavily disputed this claim. For example, Sara Rosenbaum, a professor at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, wrote:

    I have worked with community health centers for nearly 40 years, and no one believes more strongly than I do in their ability to transform the primary health care landscape in medically underserved low-income communities. But a claim that community health centers readily can absorb the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics amounts to a gross misrepresentation of what even the best community health centers in the country would be able to do were Planned Parenthood to lose over 40 percent of its operating revenues overnight as the result of a ban on federal funding.

    [...]

    What’s more, federal law requires that community health centers be located in communities where there are few other providers. As a result, the notion that there are plenty of community health centers available in those communities to compensate for the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics simply is untrue.

    Furthermore, while all Planned Parenthood clinics offer preventive and basic care services, other clinics can be classified as “community health clinics” even if they provide more limited care -- making direct comparisons between the overall numbers a misleading measure of actual health care provision capacity.

    Winfield Cunningham appears to be the anchor of the Post’s health care coverage, with the two stories published about Planned Parenthood since the May 4 vote listing her as author or co-author. Planned Parenthood is an essential care provider for millions of Americans -- 60 percent of them low-income patients covered through programs including Medicaid. If Winfield Cunningham is going to be leading the Post’s coverage on health care, she owes readers more than lopsided “both sides” reporting that vastly overrepresents anti-choice misinformation that can -- and already has -- resulted in decreased access to essential health care.

    *Graphic by Dayanita Ramesh and research support provided by Julie Tulbert

  • On MSNBC, Bill Press Calls Out Rep. Scalise For Lying About Americans Not Losing Health Care Under Republican Bill

    Radio Host Bill Press: Scalise’s Claim Is “Absolutely False. … The CBO For The First Bill Scored 24 Million Americans -- 24 Million Americans -- Would Lose Their Health Care”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    While appearing as a guest the April 5 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, radio host Bill Press called out Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) for lying that under the new Republican health care bill, Americans with pre-existing conditions who already have a plan would be “protected forever.”

    As Press pointed out, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the previous Republican bill would cause 24 million Americans to lose their health care. The version of the bill that passed in the House of Representatives on May 4 has yet to be scored by the CBO.”

    MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): So Bill Press, are they participating in a ruse in the Rose Garden or did they actually think that the Senate is going to seriously read this 1,800 page bill and think it's great for America?

    BILL PRESS: Rick [Tyler] says that John McCain doesn’t know what’s in the bill. Those people in the Rose Garden don't know what's in the bill. They voted for something that they hadn't read, they hadn't seen, the CBO hadn't scored. And here’s what gives me --

    BRZEZINSKI: Steve Scalise on our show said no one will lose their health care. Not one person.

    PRESS: That is absolutely false. That is fake news. The CBO for the first bill scored that 24 million Americans -- 24 million Americans -- would lose their health care. That’s when pre-existing conditions were still in it.

    However, an hour earlier, Scalise shamelessly guaranteed repeatedly that no one with pre-existing conditions would lose their coverage and that health care would remain affordable:

    WILLIE GEIST (CO-HOST):  So Congressman, are you able to look into the camera this morning and say to everybody in your district and everybody in this country who currently enjoys coverage who has a pre-existing condition that they will continue to enjoy that coverage under your bill?

    REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA):  If you have continuing -- if you have a plan today and you have a pre-existing condition, under our bill you'll be protected forever, as long as you want. You can again -- you can move around from one plan to another. In Obamacare, you really don't have choices. As we saw in Iowa just two days ago, in 94 out of 99 counties, you won't have anybody that will sell you insurance in Obamacare. That's how bad this law is. We need to change it. We need to give people real choices and lower premiums. And in our bill, we have multiple layers of protection for people with pre-existing conditions.

    GEIST: So everyone with a pre-existing condition right now who is covered under Obamacare will continue to have coverage?

    SCALISE: Absolutely.

    GEIST: Everyone?

    BRZEZINSKI: Oh.

    SCALISE: Everyone.

    GEIST: And their rates will remain affordable even though there's now more flexibility for insurance companies state by state?

    SCALISE: Their rates will remain affordable. If somebody just drops out of the insurance market altogether and then wants to come back and get in, we put extra money in place. In fact, the last amendment that was added just a few days ago -- and maybe a lot of people didn't get a chance to look at it, our members did, because it was an eight-page amendment -- that put an extra $8 billion in the bill to help specifically people with pre-existing conditions, who just chose on their own to stop having insurance coverage so now they can even get back in the insurance market and actually get coverage that's affordable for them.

  • Trump Doesn’t Understand Health Care -- Shouldn’t The Press Say So?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Interviewing President Donald Trump for Face The Nation, host John Dickerson recently tried to pin the president down on the details of the Republican health care bill that Trump was championing in his effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

    The exercise did not go well because Trump clearly did not understand any of the policy details in the bill, dubbed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). For instance, Trump kept boasting that Americans with pre-existing conditions don’t have anything to worry about with the new Republican legislation. But that’s obviously not true. “In fact, it’s exactly the opposite,” Vox noted. “An amendment to the AHCA introduced this week would give states authority to let insurers charge sick people higher premiums.”

    After a while, the Face The Nation back-and-forth started to resemble a Laurel and Hardy routine, as Dickerson and Trump talked past each other. The CBS host asked sensible questions and the president offered up garbled, borderline-unintelligible responses, often while making claims about the bill that were false.

    Here’s an example from CBS' transcript, as Dickerson pressed Trump about pre-existing conditions:

    JOHN DICKERSON: But has that been fixed?

    DONALD TRUMP: Totally fixed.

    DICKERSON: How?

    TRUMP: How? We've made many changes to the bill. You know, this bill is--

    DICKERSON: What kind though?

    TRUMP: --very much different than it was three weeks ago.

    DICKERSON: Help us explain because there are people--

    TRUMP: The bill--

    DICKERSON: --out there wondering what kind of changes.

    TRUMP: Let me explain. Let me explain it to you.

    DICKERSON: Okay.

    For Dickerson, the interview was like wrestling Jell-O. And for any viewer with a basic understanding of Obamacare and how health care works in the United States, Trump’s responses were categorically nonsensical. So the curtain was successfully pulled back, right? Not quite.

    Here’s how Trump’s interview was then reported in an article on CBSNews.com: “Trump Guarantees Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions In Health Care Bill.”

    That was a wildly misleading, Trump-friendly headline, because in fact, the AHCA “seems to weaken existing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, not strengthen them,” as PolitiFact explained.

    During the interview, Dickerson made it abundantly clear that Trump didn’t know much about health care and that he knew even less about the bill he wanted Congress to pass. But the network glossed over all that unpleasantness and produced a report that focused on Trump’s promises, even though the GOP bill can’t possibly meet those promises.

    That kind of whitewashing has become the media norm, as journalists quietly turn away from the stunning fact that while Trump is trying to reconfigure the U.S. health care economy, he doesn’t understand how it works or what the GOP bill will do.

    In the wake of Thursday’s House vote to pass the AHCA, and prior to the pending debate that will unfold in the Senate, the way the press depicts Trump with regard to the health care push remains vital. To date, there’s lots of normalizing going on.

    For example, here was a recent health care update from Reuters, just prior to the House vote: “President Donald Trump's effort to roll back Obamacare gained momentum on Wednesday as Republican leaders scheduled a vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday on newly revised legislation.”

    Focusing heavily on process (the bill was gaining “traction”), Reuters emphasized that Trump was marshaling Republican forces to finally repeal and replace Obamacare. Left out by Reuters? Trump doesn’t know what’s in the Republican bill to replace Obamacare, and Trump is making wildly unfounded claims about the legislation. (See more examples of that look-away coverage here, here and here.)  

    Following Thursday’s vote, the coverage then quickly focused even more heavily on process and optics, as journalists touted Trump’s big “win,” even though the cost of the bill hasn’t yet been assessed by the Congressional Budget Office. (That's a task usually done before any votes are cast.) Nor has the bill yet been taken up by the more closely divided Senate. (Republican leadership has even indicted there will be no vote on the House version of the bill and that instead, Republicans in the Senate will draft their own version.) Omitted from the process coverage? Trump’s complete lack of understanding of the legislation.

    Unfortunately, this week’s health care coverage represents the latest example of the Beltway press refusing to adjust its approach in order to accurately reflect the radical ways of Trump.

    Obviously, presidents ought to be able to discuss policy, and it’s normal for reporters to quote presidents about policy. But if at some point there’s a collective realization among journalists who are familiar with the intricacies of different policy proposals -- whether it’s taxation or immigration or federal spending -- that the president has almost no grasp of the issue at hand, or of the legislation he’s trying to pass, isn’t it the responsibility of the press to speak up and say so -- and to do so repeatedly?

    From the libertarian Reason magazine (emphasis added):

    It is a problem that Trump doesn't understand the bill his administration wants so desperately to pass. It means that Trump can't describe the bill with clarity or accuracy, and that as a result it's impossible to believe what he does say. It also means that Trump doesn't really know what makes the bill good or bad, and how to negotiate towards something better.

    That’s a very accurate description of the current state of play. So how has that not been a major narrative for the media’s health care coverage this week?

    Note that some are trying. Like CBS, Bloomberg also interviewed Trump and asked him about health care. And like with CBS, Trump also gave garbled answers and claimed the GOP bill would do things that it clearly will not.

    And at least Bloomberg pointed that out (emphasis added):

    President Donald Trump said Monday the Republican health-care bill being negotiated in Congress ultimately will protect Americans with pre-existing conditions as well as Obamacare does.

    “I want it to be good for sick people. It’s not in its final form right now," he said during an Oval Office interview Monday with Bloomberg News. "It will be every bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare."

    The latest version of the House GOP bill, which Republican leaders are trying to figure out whether they have the votes to pass this week, wouldn’t live up to that promise and would weaken those protections.

    It’s true that we’ve seen some journalists, like Peter Suderman at Reason, pointedly highlighting Trump’s complete ignorance regarding health care. But that’s been opinion-based commentary. Because apparently if you’re going to relay the fact that the president of the United States doesn’t know what he’s talking about, that has to be your opinion. If you’re a reporter and a chronicler of fact, you’re not supposed to state that obvious finding and conclusion.

    When presidents don’t understand hallmark bills that they support, that’s news.