USA Today published a highly embarrassing article about the Fuck You Care Plan, which was also highly deceptive. A good many people saw their tweet, and no doubt will simply take it on faith that it’s correct. It’s not. This sort of chicanery is not helping, it’s already difficult enough for many people to figure out what the hell is true, and what is not. Too many people rely on headlines or brief glimpses to form an opinion, then busily spread misinformation all over the place. This is the worst sort of irresponsibility.
Wednesday afternoon, the Congressional Budget Office released an absolutely brutal report quantifying the consequences of the massive health care bill that recently passed by the House of Representatives. Among other things, the report concludes that “the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026.”
That’s right, 23 million people will lose health coverage under Trumpcare.
Here’s how USA Today decided to cover this news:
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 24, 2017
“USA Today: #BREAKING CBO says House Obamacare repeal bill covers 1 million more people than prior draft.”
USA Today’s tweet, which also tracks a breaking news alert that appeared at the top of its website, is literally true. A previous CBO report found that an earlier version of Trumpcare would strip 24 million people of health insurance by 2026 — slightly more than the current version.
But USA Today’s take on the CBO report is also a case study in how media can mislead its audience without actually making any factually untrue statements.
Though this reality may sometimes be lost on reporters who are immersed in national political debates, most Americans don’t actually keep track of the latest twists and turns arising from the Congressional Budget Office. Outside of a small number of hyper-engaged individuals, very few voters will remember that, more than two months ago, CBO found that 24 million people will lose coverage under Trumpcare.