The other day, my colleague Michael Cannon published a fun little Briefing Paper entitled "Does Barack Obama Support Socialized Medicine?" In it, he gives the provocative label, "socialized medicine," a sensible meaning and examines where some important people stand on it. Worth a read.
There were a couple of lines in it that I thought were particularly interesting:
In April 2008, the Urban Institute held a public forum titled "What Is Socialized Medicine and Is It Relevant to Health Care Reform?" where scholars dismissed claims that Obama’s and similar plans would move America toward socialized medicine. The New York Times, the Associated Press, and National Public Radio have all run ostensibly objective stories with the same purpose. Of those organizations, only the Associated Press bothered to solicit input from anyone who thinks such claims are valid.
Awwwwwwwww. Did Michael not get a call from reporters when we thought he was supposed to? Pooor baaaaby! And welcome to the club, bud!
But today I spent some more time reviewing Mr. Cannon's work: to wit, this blog post about Paul Krugman. His post links to this NPR story on the debate. I'm not all that big on reading, so I skipped down to the audio highlights and listened to a segment from each of six speakers chosen by NPR. And do you know what I heard?
Twenty-nine seconds from one advocate of socialized medicine. Forty-one seconds of a second advocate of socialized medicine. And twenty-four seconds from a third.
Not very much, you say? That's our hyper-kinetic, media-saturated world. But get this:
The other side's three advocates - Cannon among them - got fourteen seconds, twenty-one seconds, and fourteen seconds respectively.
The longest clip given to advocates of freedom is shorter than the shortest clip given to advocates of socialized medicine, and the total time given to socializers is just shy of double the time given to keepers of the flame of liberty.
Media bias! Proven! At least - according to the weakest possible standards of proof. ...But still, ya gotta wonder.