Pro-Obamacare group sponsoring symposium to train journalists how to report on Obamacare

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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A private organization that “helped lay the groundwork” for Obamacare is hosting a symposium to “offer specialized education in health care reporting” for mainstream reporters from outlets including Reuters and Money magazine.

As reported by Rusty Weiss for FreedomWorks, the Commonwealth Fund is sponsoring a two-day symposium, hosted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) entitled “The Business of Health Care” at Reuters headquarters in New York City. The symposium will “offer specialized education in health care reporting” and “boost knowledge of the Affordable Care Act.”

“The goal over two days will be to introduce fellows to experts in the field and explore ways to improve coverage of the issue,” according to an announcement on the SABEW website. Former Obama administration official Sherry Glied will address the reporters as a speaker at the event.

The Commonwealth Fund, whose research about the Affordable Care Act was often cited by the White House, awarded a $15,000 grant in 2010 to SABEW for a “a series of education programs focusing on aspects of the nation’s new health-care reform law,” according to Weiss.

“This sounds like a program to teach reporters to write supportive stories about the health care reform law,” an unnamed reporter told Michelle Malkin in 2010 after Commonwealth awarded the grant to SABEW.

The Commonwealth Fund’s current president David Blumenthal is a former health care adviser to President Barack Obama.

The Commonwealth Fund’s recent president Karen Davis boasted about Commonwealth’s role in developing Obamacare, stating, “The Commonwealth Fund marshaled its resources this year to produce timely and rigorous work that helped lay the groundwork for the historic Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in March 2010.”

The Commonwealth Fund issued a study during the 2012 presidential campaign comparing the health care policies of both Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The study concluded, “On each of the seven criteria used in this analysis to evaluate the candidates’ health care platforms, President Obama’s plan to fully implement the Affordable Care Act would likely outperform Governor Romney’s plan to repeal the law and replace it with fewer federal requirements for insurance markets and reduced funding for the Medicaid and Medicare programs.”

The study was criticized for its partisan bias by health care expert Grace-Marie Turner at National Review and Romney adviser Avik Roy at Forbes.

SABEW could not immediately be reached for comment. A representative for the Commonwealth Fund could not immediately be reached for comment.

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