‘Government-Run Healthcare’ Is a Product of Health Industry–Run Media
At the first of two Democratic debates (6/26/19), MSNBC host and moderator Lester Holt asked the presidential hopefuls, “Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?” He asked the same question the next night (6/27/19), and prefaced another question to Sen. Bernie Sanders: “You basically want to scrap the private health insurance system as we know it and replace it with a government-run plan.”–
At a glance, this seems entirely unremarkable. The terms “private health insurance” and “government-run plan” are everywhere in US media.
The question at the first debate, however, was asked just a day after a new report came out from the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI). The report, “Parroting the Right: How the Media, Pollsters Adoption of Insurance Industry Spin Warps Democracy,” demonstrates how power brokers in the for-profit health industry have worked to make this exact language (“government-run healthcare”) the boilerplate description for a national health system in major media outlets.