FAIR: NYT Slams Single-Payer

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Action Alert
NYT Slams Single-Payer
Fails to include advocates among 'diverse' experts

The New York Times devoted some rare space on September 20 to discussing single-payer (or Medicare-for-all) health reform. The result? A one-sided account of why such a system couldn't work.

With a headline like "Medicare for All? 'Crazy,' 'Socialized' and Unlikely," readers probably had a sense of what the Times had in mind with the piece, which was the latest in a series titled "Prescriptions: Making Sense of the Healthcare Debate." Reporter Katharine Seelye wrote: "Extending Medicare to all has seemed like a good idea to many--except to those who call it 'socialized medicine.' Or crazy."

The Times seemed to want to express single-payer opposition in more gentle tones, explaining that the idea is, from the start, politically impractical: "Beyond a liberal base in the House, there is little support for expanding Medicare." And outside of Congress, wise minds seem to agree: "But even experts of diverse ideological views say expanding Medicare would be far more complicated and politically difficult than it might appear."