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A few weeks ago a former reporter who had won a Pulitzer told me how Barack Obama could move closer to universal coverage: He could let younger people buy into Medicare and the rest could get coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program that the reporter said was government insurance like Medicare. Shortly after that, a Fulbright scholar who had just spent a year in the United States told me that Obama planned to give everyone free insurance.
If two, smart, savvy people interested in the topic got the wrong message about health reform, what about all the ordinary people we are supposed to be informing?
For the past year I have reported on media coverage of health reform for cjr.org and can safely say that the coverage has been punctuated largely by several themes that have contributed to erroneous assumptions on the part of our audiences.
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