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Lobbyist Mouthpieces And The Credulous Newspapers Who Love Them

Jonathan Cohn has a good critique of the health insurance lobby's new "study" claiming that the Senate Finance Committee's health care bill will cause raise to skyrocket. Ezra Klein has a lot more. What I want to know is why they were able to find these devastating rebuttals and the Washington Post's Ceci Connolly didn't in her front page story. Obviously, Cohn and Klein are health care policy experts. But this begs the question of why there isn't more room for policy experts in the newspaper business.

In fact, I can't figure why a rigged study conducted by a dicredited group on behalf of a self-interested lobby ought to be the lead story in the Post. Clearly, the fact that the insurance lobby is openly fighting is an important story. But the substance of the report does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Here is how the Post summed up this question:

Though open to dispute, the analysis is certain to raise questions about whether Obama can deliver on his twin promises of extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans while also curbing skyrocketing health-care costs.

That's not the standard (or correct) way to cover dubious, self-interested claims by lobbyists.