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View Diary: SiCKO Sickens WSJ, Heals Healthcare--Guaranteed Healthcare Update (145 comments)

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  •  The WSJ is worried sick (18+ / 0-)

    because Big Insurance and Big Pharma stock prices could be hurt by negative publicity.  I am less optimistic that the movie will have as much impact on the American psyche as it should have simply because the noise machine has been focused on marginalizing Moore.  We need to stake and bake these vampires, so I hope Moore hits a raw nerve and brings us closer to the groundswell of public support needed to make universal single payer coverage a reality.

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Fri May 18, 2007 at 11:50:02 AM PDT

    •  Big Business (12+ / 0-)

      But, really, the business types who read the WSJ should be applauding the move to medicare for all.

      Small businesses, big businesses, entrepreneurs are all getting killed by the insurance industry.

      And there are a lot more businesses who aren't health insurance/big pharma than those who are.

      •  Big difference (4+ / 0-)

        between those who read the WSJ and those at WSJ who control what readers read.

        •  Not exactly freaking out (12+ / 0-)

          The newsroom at the WSJ is populated mainly by people who live in the real world (unlike the WSJ editorial board, which is a loathesome collection of twisted traitorous propagandizing hacks).  Its one of the few newsrooms left with real resources, some semblance of journalistic ethics, and large readership -- which is why it would be a sad day if Murdoch got his grubby little hands on it.

          The WSJ is often breaking stories embarrassing to big evil companies (e.g., Enron and Halliburton) and the administration, and regularly runs stories that expose and humiliate MCOs (e.g., the series on executive pay in managed care, and a million articles on Health South), pharma companies (e.g., going deep on J&J and Amgen kick-backs to doctors on epogen -- which helped spur the specifics of forthcoming changes in Medicare reimbursement), and doctors (e.g., on how they are all on the take from pharma companies and try to pretend it does not influence their prescribing).

          Surely the WSJ news editors know what they are doing (i.e., helping promote the film) in running a little picture of Michael Moore, with devilish grin, putting on a surgical glove at the top of the front page, with a teaser for the article in one of the internal sections of the paper.

          Which is not to say that they are somehow being altruistic: they're in the business of selling newspapers.  They know Moore's film and the backlash (and the counter-backlash, and the counter-counter-backlash) will grip their readers across the board (from finance to automotive), and will keep them coming back for more.  I would guess, from their perspective, the more sparks the better...

          Anybody seen my owl?

          by Minerva on Fri May 18, 2007 at 12:31:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hi minerva (3+ / 0-)

            nothing bad about the reporter...but the slant of this article indicates the paper's biases towards the primacy of looking at questions through the lens of how they'll affect large corporations.  through that lens, all hell might be about to break out.

            •  Not healthcare, Moore's movie (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DWG

              The Headline is "For Michael Moore, Controversy is Marketing" -- the subject of the article is Moore's movie.

              And the tone I recall was one of essentially mocking the PhRMA and AHIP weasels as hapless patsy's about to get whacked upside the head.  (That is the intentional effect that is conveyed by quoting half-baked propaganda from industry flacks.  The reporter uses these lines to illustrate how the industry associations are in a catch-22: promote Moore's movie with lame come-backs or promote Moore's movie by stonewalling.

              Overall, the article basically suggests that Moore has outsmarted them with his publicity strategy and screening strategy.  Hardly flattering or "taking their point of view."

              The WSJ routinely provides decent, critical, generalist coverage of healthcare policy and business issues, and their intersection.  I recall another article on doctors getting all kinds of free meals and perks from pharma companies in April that came across as a pretty devastating critique of current regulations.

              And they seem to more often get the details right.  The New York Times tried to do a story on the massive taxpayer rip-off that occurred when Medicaid Dual Eligibles switched into Medicare Part D (prices for the same drugs, paid for by taxpayers, essentially doubled), and got all kinds of key details wrong -- so that the piece came across as a lot less damning than the reality.

              To be fair, I thought the Times did a lot better job with this recent story about (again) doctors who receive fat "honoraria" for bogus speaking engagements over-prescribing the drugs of those paying them.

              Other newspapers don't even try to cover these stories -- too complicated.  The WSJ probably has 8 articles a week.  Their focus is generally business issues (this is their niche), but their perspective does not come across as especially sympathetic to the Managed Care or pharma industries.

              As publications not focused on healthcare go, which ones do you think do a better job of covering the field?

              Anybody seen my owl?

              by Minerva on Fri May 18, 2007 at 04:49:46 PM PDT

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      •  I could not agree more (13+ / 0-)

        That's the bizarre thing about this whole debate...how we're putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage with this whole mess.  PLUS, don't employers want healthy employees?  

        There is room for a genuine, far-sighted business leader to stand up and make a difference here.  Warren Buffett???

      •  Big business (3+ / 0-)

        would simply like people to have to buy their own insurance.  They don't care if its any good or not-hence the support for the HSA scam.

        Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

        by barbwires on Fri May 18, 2007 at 12:29:52 PM PDT

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    •  stake and bake? no no no ... (3+ / 0-)

      i have it on good authority, per night of the living dead, the prescription is

      beat 'em, burn 'em, shoot 'em.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Fri May 18, 2007 at 12:40:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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