Washington Post once again headlines the most important problems facing America today. I do not doubt that it hurts a parent to tell a little girl that she cannot have a designer cell phone like her friends at school. The problem is that highlighting these stories as preeminently important, which both WaPo and the Times do irritatingly often, facilitates the perspective that the people with ‘good enough’ insurance are fine and therefore America is fine. As much as my heart warmed when the article’s protagonist straightened her dark Armani suit and declared, “I can ride this out”, a lot of poor and uninsurable people are not riding this out. They are sick, young and broke, and the current crisis has put a lot more in that position than ever before. The state of America will be perceived as a crisis that we need to solve to the degree that major newspapers treat their plight as a bigger deal than Susie’s generic brand cell phone.
(*) Title credit to Atrios, who has been pointing out this irritating trend for a long time.