The news media spent much of the summer focusing on public gatherings where people denounced plans to overhaul the nation's healthcare system. A number of forums featuring people who think an overhaul is long overdue, and who generally support the Obama administration's efforts, also drew coverage.
We covered several in the Triangle, but missed a couple. Thus, we heard from forces both on the right and the left about "media conspiracies." We are keenly aware that some studiously count inches given to the "antis" and the "pros." We strive to be fair, but we don't think that merely keeping up with who is for, or against, something is adequately doing our jobs. In fact, we have a long history of covering the healthcare system and our coverage of the most recent overhaul effort has gone far beyond public demonstrations.
We will continue to strive for depth in our reporting on this issue, including following the action in Washington and examining the impact on local healthcare providers and the region's industries.
We do believe that hearing from individuals who will be affected by any changes, or no change, is also an important element of our coverage. We will soon begin a series featuring Triangle residents discussing healthcare and the question of whether a revamp is needed. We did not approach these people based on assumptions about their politics or where we think they might come down on the question of reform.
Rather, we looked for people from a wide variety of life circumstances and occupations. We asked them to talk about their personal situations, their concerns about the healthcare system and what specific changes, if any, would effectively address their concerns. One of the first to be featured is the owner of a small business. Others include physicians, insurance and hospital administrators, seniors on Medicare, people who lost health insurance with the loss of a job, people who have private insurance through work, and people who have chronic illnesses.
We think these personal stories will enlighten us all.
We welcome your feedback.