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EDITORIAL: Networks censor health care debate

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The major TV networks don't even let revenue get in the way of their biased coverage in favor of President Obama's agenda.

ABC and NBC in particular seem afraid of a simple 30-second advertisement. Both networks have refused to run an ad proposed for national telecast by the League of American Voters, a nonprofit group with 15,000 members. The supposedly offensive ad makes the simple claim that the proposed government-run health care program would ration medical care.

ABC won't run the ad because it says it is "partisan." NBC won't run it because that network says it questions the ad's facts. So what does the script of this horribly troublesome ad say? Here it is:

"How can Obama's plan cover 50 million new patients without any new doctors? It can't. It will hurt our seniors, end Medicare as we know it, ration coverage and care, limit life-saving medicines, impose long delays on cancer treatment and other vital surgery. It's happening in England and in Canada. Don't let it happen here. Tell Congress to protect American health care."

Actually, we have some serious gripes about the ad too, primarily because the League of American Voters accepts and propagates questionable statistics coming from the Obama administration. The true number of uninsured in this country is dramatically less than half of the 50 million claimed. The ad also accepts the administration's presumption that being uninsured means going without health care. As we have pointed out previously, a survey by ABC/USA Today/Kaiser Foundation found that 70 percent of the uninsured who expressed an opinion were satisfied with their health care.

Despite falling back on dodgy numbers, the sentiment and logic expressed in the ad hit the mark. Increasing demand for health care increases prices and costs. If more people are offered health care, and more total money is not allocated for services, the increase in cost that results from covering additional new patients can be offset only by cutting services for somebody else. That sounds like rationing to us.

It's hardly surprising that NBC does not share these concerns. The liberals who control that network's programming just don't believe the Democrats' plans will result in rationing.

The case against ABC is more egregious. This is the same network that gave the Obama administration uncritical free airtime during June's ABC-White House health care special to promote Mr. Obama's plan while rejecting Republican offers to buy ads to counter the partisan propaganda. ABC now claims the League of American Voters' ad is partisan. But simply opposing a government takeover of health care doesn't make the group or its views partisan; Americans of all stripes are against the power grab. An August Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that such a government takeover is opposed by 21 percent of Democrats, 50 percent of independents and 81 percent of Republicans.

ABC and NBC are losing credibility and viewers. One major cause of the networks' demise is their willingness to put objectivity aside to carry water for Mr. Obama and his big-government policies.

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