Fox News Channel's Formerly Invisible ACA "Expert" Revealed and the White House's Response (UPDATED)

It's not punditry nor is it flagrantly biased, it's just selectively worded with topics chosen in order to fit into its far-right agenda.
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It's not punditry nor is it flagrantly biased, it's just selectively worded with topics chosen in order to fit into its far-right agenda.
bret_baier_fox_news_source

UPDATE: Via Twitter and Tommy Christopher, Bret Baier clarified his source for the story.

There was no explanation as to why the source, Gallup-Healthways, was left out of Baier's report on Fox News Channel. Meanwhile, regarding the Gallup-Healthways' lower insurance enrollment number, a White House official told The Daily Banter:

The comparison AP is making between the 16.4 million and the 9.7 million is not valid. These two estimates are measuring fundamentally different things.

The 16.4 million is an estimate of the number of people who have insurance today under the ACA, but who would not have had insurance in a world without the ACA. It is the correct metric to look at if your goal is to understand the effects the ACA has had on insurance coverage.

HHS arrived at its 16.4 million estimate using a well-documented methodology that is based in large part on a peer-reviewed study published last summer in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Notably, HHS’ estimate is nearly identical to the corresponding projection from CBO, which CBO updated earlier this month. At that time, CBO projected that 17 million people would have coverage because of the law in 2015. (See Table 2 here.)

By contrast, the 9.7 million computed by Gallup-Healthways is based on a simple comparison of the uninsured rate between 2010 and the present. Unlike the 16.4 million, this comparison does not control for other factors that might drive trends in health insurance coverage, so it is not an accurate estimate of the change in coverage because of the ACA.

It is very misleading as written and no other news outlet has conflated these numbers as far as I know."

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We've witnessed a lot of truth-bending and unhinged screeching from Fox News Channel over the years. And whenever we call out the mendacity of the network or its ridiculous blowhards like Sean Hannity, Fox News viewers invariably counterpoint with the notion that the news segments are legitimate and well-reported -- that the obvious conservative bias of the network is restricted to pundits like O'Reilly, Hannity and Doocy.

But of course it's clear that the selection and reporting of the news is almost as bad as the punditry. Take a news story reported by anchor Bret Baier on Monday, for example. It was a brief item about the latest Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers, after the Obama administration announced this week that 16.4 million Americans are now covered due to the dreaded Obamacare.

Since Baier hosts the Fox News equivalent of a straight news program, he can't throw a tantrum and scream about how the Obama administration is lying so, instead, he just invented a mysterious "independent expert" who refuted the numbers. Baier said, "An independent expert says the reality is fewer than 10 million people have signed up." Via Media Matters:

Who is this expert? We don't know because Baier didn't say. Is this expert part of a healthcare analysis firm? Don't know, he didn't say. All we know is that he or she is "independent" and an "expert." Why didn't he tell us who this expert was, especially if he or she is refuting such a major Obama administration announcement? Clearly because the expert doesn't exist. Meanwhile, if you notice the over-the-shoulder graphic in the video, it reads, "Questions over new Obamacare numbers." Questions? There's only one question, about the enrollment numbers, and it comes from a person Fox News seems to have fabricated out of thin air.

This is what Fox News does with its news reporting. It's not punditry nor is it flagrantly biased, it's just selectively worded with topics chosen in order to fit into its far-right agenda. And say what you will about the existence of a so-called "liberal media," but I've never heard another newscast base a story around both an unnamed and an unattributed source. Often sources are reported as unnamed, but never unnamed and unattributed. It's not like this was Watergate, either. It's a different Obamacare enrollment number -- hardly deep-background information.

Excuse me, this just in. An "independent source" just told me Bret Baier is actually an adult Monchichi.