After helping define Obama’s presidency for almost a year, health care reform has largely disappeared as an issue in the US media, as it cuts through the legal system to the Supreme Court.
But when it was an important story, most of the coverage focused on the policy of the bill and not on the content of the legislation. The linguistic framing of the case favored by Republican critics of the bill was much more widely covered in the language coverage and framing favored by Democrats who support the bill, according to research conducted by the Center for Excellence in Journalism of the Pew Research Center.
Medical care reached its peak as news in the summer of 2009 and early 2010, during the increase in tea ceremony and battles in the House of Representatives and the Senate due to the passage of legislation. In the third quarter of 2009, with feelings fueled by angry open meetings, coverage of the medical care debate filled 18% of the news space, according to the PEJ news coverage index to become history number 1 in history in the news. The figure decreased slightly, but remained high in the fourth quarter of 2009 (13%) and in the first quarter of 2010 (14%).
But once the battle for health care went to court, mainly in the decisions of the Federal Court of Appeals, the issue received much less attention. From April 2010 to December 2011, the topic did not exceed 2% of the general news in a period of three months.
That, something, has changed in the first three months of 2012, with coverage reaching 5% of the news. In the week of February 6 to 12, the story appeared for the first time (9 percent of the news), where a controversy arose over whether religious institutions should be forced to cover contraception in their health insurance plans as a Important problem. Four weeks later, Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments about the law student at Georgetown University helped increase coverage (10%) in the week of March 5 and 11.
In its heyday, in 2009 and early 2010, the issue was also more a topic in the opinion of media culture, in cable television programs and television, than anywhere else. But opponents of Obama’s party have not always done that, but often people from within the liberal camp who felt that the law did not go very far. During that period, the Apostolic Hosts devoted more time to this topic than the conservative hosts.
This is consistent with another result in the analysis of press coverage, particularly during the formative stages from June 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. Most of the coverage of the health reform law focused on policies instead of informing what a law or state of health care would do. 49% of the coverage focuses on policies and strategies, as well as the legislative process. Less than a quarter of the coverage (23%) identified what the various proposals would do, and 9% of the coverage focused on the state of the health care system in the United States.