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The Nation

Howard Kurtz--An Unreliable Source?

Katrina Vanden Heuvel

Here's a segment for next week's CNN show "Reliable Sources." Why is it that the mainstream media treats single-payer healthcare (Medicare for all) as a fringe idea --when, in fact, it has broad support?

In a Sunday-morning segment--devoted to dissecting media treatment of Michael Moore and his new film Sicko, Howard Kurtz asserted that Moore is "pushing government-run healthcare which no Presidential candidate supports."

Last I checked, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), and a candidate for the Presidency, not only supports a single-payer, Medicare for all, not-for-profit healthcare system but he co-sponsored HR 676, The US National Health Insurance Act, along with Congressman John Conyers and more than 74 other House members. It's a detailed bill, which was reintroduced in the latest session on Congress.

As Kucinich said in a recent Presidential forum, " It's time we ended this thought that healthcare is a privilege. It's a basic right, and it's time to end this control that insurance companies have not only over healthcare but over our political system." If "Reliable Sources" wants to remain reliable, shouldn't it issue a correction? Maybe devote a segment to media coverage of single-payer healthcare?

After all, if CNN can devote an hour this Wednesday evening to Larry King's interview with Paris Hilton, shouldn't it be able to give over a few minutes to coverage of single-payer healthcare? After all, according to a March New York Times poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe government should guarantee healthcare to every American, especially children, and a majority are willing to pay higher taxes to get this done.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel is editor of The Nation.

© 2007 The Nation

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