Below the fold: How we bury news about ACA because it most directly helps poor people

Today’s Chicago Tribune exemplified the problem. The news that 700,000 more Illinois residents had health insurance happened to hit on a day where a more important economic story broke: “Wrigley hotel to downplay baseball.” That story got its own box and everything, with an artist’s color rendering of the snazzy proposed 175-room hotel. Meanwhile an important and well-written story about how Illinois’s marketplace and Medicaid expansion dramatically reduced uninsurance since 2013 got basically bupkis.

My morning paper
My morning paper

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Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

6 thoughts on “Below the fold: How we bury news about ACA because it most directly helps poor people”

  1. Downplayed because it's about helping poor people? No, because it's about numbers not faces, and requires the lazy Tortoise brain to cut in. How much coverage have you seen of the IEA's announcement that global carbon emissions have stayed flat for the second year running, indicating a permanent decoupling from GDP growth? The low profile does not come from denialism.

    Harold, please keep the anecdata and photos coming to please our Hare brains, as well as the numbers.

    1. Yeah, okay, I forget who said it, but one kitty dying is a tragedy, six million Jews is a statistic. Stalin, maybe. However I must disagree about the low profile not stemming from denialism. The American MSM has been in denial about American classism, and the impossibility of "The American Dream", for 150 years!!! Of all 23 members of the OECD, the poor have the least chances in America. Wage stagnation should be a headline every day. Wells-Fargo and GE paying no taxes should be a headline every day. Where is the fucking Justice Department there? Too busy busting pot growers? (That's a hat tip to you SameFacts dudes).

      Of course it's denialism. America has been denying its race and class problems since its inception. That's why the two greatest moments in American literature are when Huck said "Fine then, I'll go to Hell" and when Rose Of Sharon offered her no-longer-needed breast milk to the starving Tom Joad.

      It's bloody well denialism, our cultural cruelties, and our media ignoring them.

      1. Sorry, I meant climate denialism, which is now SFIK rare among reporters. The false balance has shifted to the opinion pages, and even there it depends on the paper - full bore at the WSJ, but the NYT has stopped giving space to denialists except identified as cranks.

        I don't disagree about denial of class, and of pervasively unequal opportunity in any other frame than race and gender. But perhaps the media there hold up a faithful mirror to the wishful thinking of American society.

  2. The Tribune, which I read daily, hates Obamacare, every chance they get they editorialize on how better it would be to get rid of it….so downplaying its successes is par for the course….

  3. People who still read newspapers would not care less about the ACA. They've got something better, called Medicare.

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