Already, the public says that coverage of the ACA is mostly about politics rather than what the law means for people. The question Americans most want answered is not how much the ACA mattered in some Senate or House race but: What does the law mean for me and my family? Almost half of Americans say they still cannot answer that question.Altman is trying to convince those editors that while politicians might try to make Obamacare the number one story in this year's political campaign, the people want—need—to hear something different. The economy, he points out, is always at the top of the list of issues of most concern to the voting public in surveys. Obamacare might drive the most rabid of the base to the polls, so Republicans will keep talking about it, Altman argues. But that doesn't mean, he says, that the media has to continue its coverage of the law as just a political football.
The news media are most people’s main source of information about the ACA, ahead of family and friends, doctors, or social media. Editors face a balancing act as they decide what stories to assign, how much space or time to devote to an ACA political story vs. a human story, or what the mix should be in any given health-care story.
We completely agree, but, well, good luck with that Mr. Altman.