We were struck by the very different – almost 180°opposite – headlines and spins today in the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post, both reporting on the new health plans in Maryland, finalized this week.
“Maryland issues insurance rates that are among lowest in U.S.” (The Washington Post)
“Premiums to go up as much as 25 percent under health reform” (The Baltimore Sun)
They were covering the same news, but you’d never know it from the headlines.
Like the New York Times and the Associated Press, The Post notes that the plans to be sold in the state’s new online marketplace are up to 50% the cost of other states and describe them as an example of how Obamacare may result in surprisingly affordable care in the mandatory system.
The Sun takes the Wall Street Journal–Fox News approach, comparing the cost of the new comprehensive care plans (which provide preventive care and other services) with catastrophic plans with $5,000 deductibles.
“Marylanders who buy health insurance on a state exchange under health reform could see their premiums jump as much as 25 percent under rates approved by state regulators, but those increases are less than insurers sought,” The Sun’s lead sentence reads.
(Here’s a link to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange for those who want to read more about it.)
Both pieces get into the back-and-forth of debate but that apples-to-oranges comparison in The Sun’s story never gets challenged or made clear.
A look at this coverage may be worthwhile in the continuing debate about the hometown paper and its ideology, as the Tribune Company contemplates selling it and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers contemplate buying it.
IN OTHER SUN NEWS:
Here’s a Baltimore City Paper post on six more departures from the paper, on top of columnist Kevin Cowherd and photographer Gene Sweeney already reported to be going. CP quotes dcrtv.com, which first wrote about these latest buyouts, saying that sources said most of the slots will not be filled.