I was pretty livid over an article on Newsweek’s website claiming Obama puts out ads that misquote newspaper articles. The article is in reference to a Nevada ad in which Obama has a quote from the AP saying that he offers a universal health care plan. The writer, Mr. Bank, states that the AP article didn’t actually contain the quote Obama listed, which was “Obama offers universal health care plan.” Well, he was correct. The AP article never actually stated that in the article. However, if you notice (as I commented on the website, albeit idiotically twice) he doesn’t actually link the article to support his claim. Oh, he provides a link the AP, but not only is it not to the article; it’s not even to the Associated Press webpage! It’s to Newsweek’s AP reference page, of which this article is not listed, meaning you have to do the heavy lifting to try and substantiate his claim.
Now, I was going to post this in my blog because I feel like my harsh reactions to Hillary can be a little lop-sided, and thought it would be good for my (pseudo)journalistic integrity to be a little more balanced. However, I didn’t just want to post that somebody said somebody said something. That’s called hearsay and doesn’t hold up in court. So I clicked on the AP link. As soon as I noticed that it doesn’t go directly to the article, and then checked and saw he doesn’t provide any link to the article, I became a little suspicious. Usually, when somebody does such a bad job at referencing something it means they don’t actually want people to see it. So I did a little bit of research and found the actual AP article, which I’ve so cleverly hyperlinked for you. It’s from the Washington Post, but it clearly attributes the article to Mike Glover of the AP and also contains the quote Mr. Bank used in his article, so it’s the same article (I could not find in on the AP site, probably because I do not a subscription to the archive).
I found, much to my surprise, that the article does not, in fact, contain the quote “Obama offers universal health care plan.” It is, however, the title of the article. Now, quoting the title of an article and attributing it to the article hardly constitutes misrepresentation.
However, saying somebody quoted a line which doesn’t exist, when in fact it’s the title, does.
He also says Obama misrepresents another quote, because the article actually, get this, shows both sides of the story. That’s called integrity; something Mr. Banks obviously knows little about.
And now in the spirit of integrity, let me continue my Obama love-fest without an opposing viewpoint.
Obama’s plan doesn’t actually provide universal health coverage. I’ll admit that. Mr. Bank is correct in his assertion that it only provides the opportunity for universal health care, but does not force people to purchase it. However, I think that’s the point. It’s nice that Obama is going to make health insurance more affordable, but some people will never be able to afford it. When you’re always broke come payday, you can’t afford an extra bill no matter how low it may be. This is common sense, but something that Hillary doesn’t really seem to grasp (or maybe she does but doesn’t care). Plus, individual insurance is not always good insurance. Insurance is great when you have a group plan, say at work, and the group can force the insurance company into responsible policies they may not necessarily want to practice. However, a person with individual health insurance has no leverage to get them to make a claim on an expensive bill, and often don’t have the liberty of time to get a lawyer to force the issue. That’s why I don’t think the best plan is to provide private health insurance to all individuals, and I certainly don’t think forcing people to pay for plans which may eat up significant amounts of their salary while still leaving them vulnerable to enormous medical bills even resembles a responsible plan.
I like Obama’s plan for one reason; it’s a good start. It makes health insurance cheaper so that people who want to get it but can only almost afford it can actually afford it. However, I don’t think it’s an end-all solution. Sadly, Obama does not seem to be in support of universal health care plan that more responsible countries (read: every civilized, and some not-so-civilized, country other than the U.S.) have. I think Edwards’ plan is much more effective, responsible, and ultimately realistic.
I should also note that I would love to see an Edwards presidency. But as right now it seems like it’s either Clinton or Obama, Obama is on the better track. They pretty much have the same plan, minus the mandate, and I think the mandate is bad policy. Plus, as Edwards says, why would we want to reward the insurance companies and put the responsibility of fixing health care in their hands when they are a primary reason why it’s broke to begin with?