Earlier today, I noted how willing Rhode Island politicians are to sacrifice the well-being of Rhode Islanders and then attempt to scare us into political activism against their opposition. In wishing the news media would play a role in bringing them back toward more-reasonable rhetoric, I probably underplayed the degree to which journalists are complicit. Consider Lynn Arditi’s Providence Journal article whipping up the panic about federal health care reform:
Now, Porreca and others like him could lose their coverage under a Republican plan to roll back that Medicaid expansion and limit future federal financing for the safety-net program. Able-bodied adults also could be required to work in order to qualify for Medicaid.
The first sentence is false, and the second is misleading. The paragraph is partisan fear-mongering propaganda. As I’ve already explained, the House Republicans’ AHCA legislation includes no cut to Medicaid. Anybody claiming otherwise is wrong, and anybody claiming otherwise whose job it is to objectively inform people is either lying or committing professional malfeasance through his or her negligence. Adding in the work requirement in that context makes frightening something that is arguably a reasonable policy and leaves out the reality that Rhode Island’s state government would have to go along.
If “anxiety” is “mounting,” as the Providence Journal headline suggests, the news media and Rhode Island politicians are to blame. If only people would begin holding them accountable for the anxiety they cause out of their own selfish interests.