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Opinions Differ On Shape Of Earth

Yesterday, the Washington Post published a too-credulous front page story on the health insurance lobby's new study claiming to show that health care reform would cause massive new premium hikes. But the study has come under withering fire. As Chris notes, PriceWaterhouse Coopers has essentially admitted that its study of the Senate Finance Committee's health care bill was bunk -- it arrived at its claim that health care premiums would rise by analyzing the factors in the bill that might cause premiums to rise and leaving out all the factors that might cause premiums to fall.

So here's today's Post follow-up story:

Tensions between the White House and insurers exploded into open warfare Monday, with the two sides arguing over what the financial impact of comprehensive health-care legislation moving through Congress would be for average Americans.

As the Senate Finance Committee prepared to vote Tuesday on a 10-year, $829 billion bill, the insurance lobby warned that under the legislation insurance premiums could rise faster and higher than projected.

The Obama administration said the industry analysis was deeply flawed, and its allies lambasted the industry for hypocrisy and an "11th-hour attack" intended to rob President Obama of a victory on his top domestic priority.

The article continues in this vein. The insurers say one thing, Democrats disagree, end of story. The whole tone is captured by the headline, "Insurance Dispute Heats Up Before Vote." The fact that the authors of the study themselves admit their study did not actually attempt to estimate the effect of the bill on health premiums is not mentioned anywhere. All the Post thinks you need to know is that people are fighting.