Journalists Hooked on Same Health Care Sources, Such as Jonathan Gruber

Trudy Lieberman of the Columbia Journalism Review writes, "Jonathan Gruber is an economist from MIT. Jonathan Oberlander is a political scientist from the University of North Carolina. Both are health policy experts and, from what we can tell, both know their stuff. But the press has counted on Gruber rather than Oberlander to give gravitas to their stories. ...[T]he media relies way too much on the same sources, who utter the same thing again and again to different news outlets. The problem with this, of course, is that a particular view of the world spreads widely, perhaps reinforcing that view as the correct one -- which it may or may not be, depending on the facts and on which side of the river you call home. Gruber has been the cheerleader-in-chief for the Massachusetts health care plan, which is the model for federal reform. He sits on the board of the Connector, the state’s policy brokerage service, and thus has something of a vested interest in positively spinning the reform efforts there. Last year on the PBS NewsHour, he told how premiums for individuals buying their own coverage in Massachusetts had dropped dramatically. But he didn’t mention how premiums for workers in small businesses had risen to sky-high levels in order to make that possible."