The PBS television program Frontline selectively edited an interview with a single-payer health insurance advocate, and film footage of people protesting in support of single-payer, to make it look as though they were advocating a public option instead. The public option proposal would have offered individuals a government-run health insurance program as an alternative to the mandatory purchase of private health insurance -- a completely different proposal than universal, single-payer health insurance. The Frontline report shows footage of single-payer advocate Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program, and a group of people protesting in favor of a single-payer plan. Flowers is heard saying members of her group were shut out of a Congressional hearing, but the program never mentions the single-payer concept. Instead, viewers are led to believe that Flowers and the protesters were referring to a public option concept, since that was the only progressive proposal discussed in the program. Frontline effectively made it look as though single-payer advocates did not even exist. It's not the first time Frontline has pushed single-payer out of the debate, either. When they did the same thing last year and were called on it, PBS ombudsman Michael Getler attributed the omission to a tight deadline and called it a "missed opportunity."
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