October 10, 2013

AP Limits Iowa Obamacare Sign-ups Story to State Feed, Headlines ‘At Least Five’ Sign-Ups As ‘Some’

This post follows up on Noel Sheppard’s item this morning on the progress of ObamaCare enrollment in Iowa, wherein we learn that there have been a “Hardy Handful” of five Hawkeye Staters who have signed thus far, with no identified press coverage outside of the state.

A search on “Iowa insurance” (not in quotes) at the national web site of the Associated Press done at 1:30 p.m. returned nothing recent. AP has covered the story, but has from all appearances limited its exposure to a five-paragrapher at its Iowa feed. The Iowa story’s headline is definitely from the “Let’s deceive readers and hope they don’t read the story” branch of media brinkmanship (presented in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):

Some Iowa residents sign up for health insurance


An insurance carrier under Iowa’s new health marketplace says at least five persistent residents have signed up for insurance on the government’s website.

CoOportunity Health says the people enrolled in the carrier’s insurance plans by Wednesday morning. The Des Moines Register reports the consumers are from Iowa City, Glidden and Clive.

The marketplaces, also known as exchanges, have been troubled by technical glitches and delays since launching on Oct. 1. Iowa’s exchange is available under the federal website.

Cliff Gold, CoOportunity Health’s chief operating officer, says he’s encouraged that some people are getting through the website. He says nine Nebraska residents have also selected policies via the new system.

The policies go into effect on Jan. 1.

AP’s fallback argument may be that the story has come and gone at the national web site. I doubt it, but even if so, that excuse would be extraordinarily lame. Obamacare’s “glitches” (i.e., possibly fatal flaws) have been nationwide news. Given the situation, there is no justification for the wire service to virtually hide what’s going on in Iowa from the rest of the nation.

You can bet the AP’s coverage decisions would have been totally different if the Hawkeye State’s sign-up number was 50,000 instead of five.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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