Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 15, 2009

THE AP, THE CBO, AND A $500 BILLION GAP.... The latest report from the Associated Press on health care reform, published just one hour ago, includes this paragraph:

On Tuesday, House Democratic leaders pledged to meet the president's goal of health care legislation before their August break, offering a $1.5 trillion plan that for the first time would make health care a right and a responsibility for all Americans. Left to pick up most of the tab were medical providers, employers and the wealthy.

It doesn't include a source for the "$1.5 trillion" figure, but an earlier version of the story quoted an unnamed "House Democratic aide."

As the AP article makes the rounds, and gets used by activists like Newt Gingrich, named House Democratic aides "are furious" with the Associated Press, "accusing the news outlet of grotesquely inflating the price tag of the new health care bill by relying on the calculations of an anonymous aide."

Granted, the exact price of the proposal is unclear at this point. But the AP's report puts a $1.5 trillion price tag on reform, reports it as fact, and makes no reference to the Congressional Budget Office scoring -- released 20 hours before the most recent AP piece -- that pointed to a roughly $1 trillion cost over 10 years.

Brian Beutler added, "This is the sort of meme thing that can snowball into a wide misunderstanding of what, exactly, the House of Representatives is proposing."

Quite right. Expect to see House Republicans start using the $1.5 trillion figure constantly, and holding up the AP's reporting as "proof," reality notwithstanding.

Steve Benen 1:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

The AP is a slease machine as much as it is anything. Fournier is apparatchik of the Repugnant Party -- a sniffer or Karl Rove's anus -- and a man filled with resentiment of the left and the lower classes. He is also a schlemiele. Then there's "the pickler." but they have a cast of dozens...

Posted by: neill on July 15, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sycophantic Sanford emails from the media, Chuck Todd poo-pooing investigation of Bush-era crimes and the AP inflating the healthcare pricetag all in the past 24 hours. Damn liberal media.

Posted by: ckelly on July 15, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

The AP won't correct or explain. For them the only thing that counts is pleasing the insurance industry and big Pharma.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 15, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Associated Press, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

Posted by: Liam J on July 15, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck Todd poo-pooing investigation of Bush-era crimes

Gotta love all those lefties who jumped for joy last fall when Todd was tapped for chief WH correspondent. All he's managed to do is make a fool of himself at every press conference, each question more ridiculous than the last.

The disappointment in his voice was palpable on election night as he began to realize his hero John McCain wasn't going to pull his nuts out of the fire. Todd's a Republican. He's only doing the bidding of his corporate masters.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on July 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Can class action suits be brought against news organizations for false reports? Just askin'. I'd be interested in finding ways of bringing civil actions against mainstream media.

Posted by: PW on July 15, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

The disappointment in his voice was palpable on election night as he began to realize his hero John McCain wasn't going to pull his nuts out of the fire. Todd's a Republican. He's only doing the bidding of his corporate masters.

It seems unlikely that he's a Republican. His wife is a Democratic operative - she worked for Jim Webb's campaign. Just because someone sucks doesn't mean they're a Republican

Posted by: John on July 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm old enough to remember when the AP was a legitimate news organization that wouldn't move any news story based on a single unnamed source. But that was back when we were using manual typewriters.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on July 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Will Rogers is still famous for saying "I only know what I read in the newspaper"

Ah, the good old days, when reporters wore fedoras with "PRESS" stuck in the hat band, and, as Joe Friday said, reported "Just the facts, ma'am".

Posted by: DAY on July 15, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

It seems unlikely that he's a Republican. His wife is a Democratic operative

Yeah. Husbands and wives have to be supporters of the same party. Just like Jim Carville and that famously Democratic wife of his.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on July 15, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Great. The start-date of the full-featured House plan is pushed back to 2013 just to get the CBO's total below the magic $1 trillion mark. Otherwise President Nelson and President Landrieu and President The Other Lincoln and President Baucus will veto it.

So now AP says it's $1.5 trillion. The GOP aren't ever going to vote for this - this is instead a naked play by staffers out of President Nelson's or President Landrieu's or President The Other Lincoln's or President Baucus' office to kill any bill.

God save us from our so-called friends.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 15, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Planting information in the media and then using it as proof - where have we seen this strategy before????

Posted by: mlm on July 15, 2009 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Screw the Republicans. At $1 trillion over ten years, it's a great deal for covering mostly everybody. At $1.5 trillion, it's still a good deal.

Posted by: sparrow on July 15, 2009 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Why oh why is it so difficult for the maroons writing this crap to understand that even $1.5 trillion -- spread over ten years -- is a hell of a lot less money than we already spend?

"Total spending was $2.4 TRILLION in 2007, or $7900 per person."

"U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4.3 TRILLION in 2017, or 20 percent of GDP."

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

Posted by: karen marie on July 15, 2009 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Does it matter? Yesterday, during the final speeches in the Senate HELP committee, the Republicans were bandying about numbers like $2 trillion, $3 trillion, for a bill that, in reality, is tagged at around $600 billion. Before this debate is over, I'm sure we'll be hearing numbers upwards of $10 trillion or more from the antagonists. We've been hearing this kind of casual lying from stupid politicians since the dawn of time. Do Americans really care if the number is $1.5 trillion? I'll guess everyone who's against this (i.e. all Republicans) want to force the bill at the $1 trillion mark. Anything higher will be misreported as ifinijillions until the cows come home.

Posted by: NealB on July 15, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm reserving judgment on all this until I read what Sarah Palin's ghostwriter has to say about it.

Posted by: castanea on July 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta love all those lefties who jumped for joy last fall when Todd was tapped for chief WH correspondent.

Which "lefties" were jumping for joy? I remember several scratching their heads at the decision--because Todd appeared to be more of an analyst than a beat reporter.

As for the AP, this is blatant and shameless disinformation, but not suprising considering the folks who run AP now, starting with Halperin.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on July 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Wikipedia describes the AP as a "cooperative" owned by its participating newspapers, radio stations, etc. How, then, did the "liberal media" allow a Republican flack to get to the top of it?

Posted by: SqueakyRat on July 15, 2009 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News Correspondent Mara Liasson naturally used the 1.5 trillion figure. After the ballyhoo following the CBO report, I wondered where she got the info. I should have known it came from GOPmedia.

Posted by: leo on July 15, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

This is one of the reasons that I canceled my subscription to my hometown newspaper (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). They rely heavily on AP (false) reporting for political coverage.

Posted by: Chris on July 15, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The "liberal media" strikes again!

Posted by: Gregory on July 15, 2009 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Which "lefties" were jumping for joy? I remember several scratching their heads at the decision--because Todd appeared to be more of an analyst than a beat reporter.

The commenters at several liberal blogs expressed their happiness over the selection, citing Todd's alleged skills with numbers and analysis, and their perception that he'd be fair. I'm sorry you don't remember that, but I wouldn't bring it up at all if it weren't true.

He's just another bought-and-paid-for GOP hack, and I knew it at the time. Find video of MSNBC election night coverage, and tell me Todd wasn't obviously disappointed as Obama began racking up states he thought McCain had a shot at. It's in his voice.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on July 15, 2009 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed this error when I read the AP story and have since heard this figure repeated in a MN public radio news report.

Posted by: laurie on July 15, 2009 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

The CBO's original estimate was flawed; they admitted the shortcomings themselves. Yet liberals trumpet this estimate as true.

Liberals will do anything to pass this fine piece of legislation.

The taxes and surcharges on the rich - not just millionaires either - and small businesses will do wonders for the economy.

And to boot, Obama's "Green Czar" is a Communist.

So when to Alycee Hastings' gulags open?

Posted by: Al Jr. on July 15, 2009 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Like I keep saying, the *net* cost of the plan isn't how much we pay for it, but how much it costs relative to what we already have!
H-e-l-l-o-o ....

Posted by: N B ♪ ♪ on July 15, 2009 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly