The media pandering on behalf of the Obama re-election camp already is astonishing. During the George W. Bush years, everything bad that happened in America somehow was connected to the malignant reign of "The Decider." Last year, CBS even sought out journalist Sally Quinn to claim that Bush's victory in 2000 could be blamed for unraveling Al Gore's marriage 10 years later.
God knows, and so, too, do most Americans, that the state of the union is a mess. But in the Obama era, nothing that goes wrong can be traced back to the Democrats in power.
A savvy viewer would have been shocked watching the June 30 "CBS Evening News" with a story on "cuts" to the Medicaid program in California, and one puts "cuts" in quotes because overall Medicaid spending never goes down, even if limitations in service or fee increases happen. CBS reporter Bill Whitaker reported from California on some poor people who might eventually be hurt by Medicaid changes. But two names never came up in this CBS piece: Barack Obama and the new/old Democratic governor of California, Jerry Brown.
"We met Sharon Brown and her 10-year-old daughter, Rosa, at the Arroyo Vista family health center," proclaimed Whitaker, "where Rosa came for strep throat. With a family income below the federal poverty line of $18,310 a year, Rosa's treatment and Sharon's checkup cost just a dollar each."
But since the "temporary infusion of federal funds to Medicaid" is running out, "California is taking a $4.8 billion hit. So, like most states, California is scrambling to reduce costs, cutting services, cutting doctors' payments, raising patients' co-payments. Five dollars for office visits, $50 for emergency rooms, $100 to $200 a day for hospital stays. You might think that's not much."
Sharon Brown helpfully batted that down: "But you know what? You're wrong. You're so wrong. Because people do need it. People count on it." She proceeded to complain that they've had to rent out more than half their house, and they still struggle to pay their bills since she was laid off.
Whitaker concluded: "California already is struggling with a budget crisis of its own and doesn't have the funds to make up for the federal cuts to Medicaid. With unemployment here near 12 percent -- among the highest in the country -- the Arroyo Vista clinic and others like it don't expect to see any reduction in need."