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Experts say media added to public's confusion on health reform

Covering Health today discusses how the media did no favors in helping the public understand Congress' major (and now dead?) health-reform proposal. The blog entry links to a Health News Florida piece saying most media coverage actually made the public more confused about the issues:

“The message from the media is that the bill is convoluted and complex,” [Florida State University Assistant Professor Jeanette] Castillo said. Most news accounts settled for “gossipy tales of the wooing of individual senators” and a “circus-like atmosphere of rumor and fear-mongering.”

Other experts said the media spent little time explaining major parts of the legislation, and they put the blame on the 24-hour news cycle, which requires that reporters come up with new angles on stories, and on a dearth of experienced health reporters:

“Health care reform is an incredibly complex topic, and it takes someone with a fair amount of knowledge to understand even the language used in some of the proposals,” [Kim] Walsh-Childers [University of Florida professor] said.

Previously: What happened to public's support of health reform? and Victor Fuchs comments on the public's opinion of health reform


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