The NYT ran a piece on the new Congressional Budget Office estimates of the cost and coverage rates for the Affordable Care Act following the changes required by the Supreme Court ruling. It concluded the piece with a classic he said/she said:
"Representative Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, said the law was unaffordable, and he pointed to the $1.7 trillion price tag mentioned by the budget office.
But Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said the law was a good deal that would 'save $109 billion over the next decade, while increasing access to health care for millions of Americans.'"
Well that settles it, the paper has done its job.
How about telling us how large this sum is relative to projected income (about 0.85 percent)? How about as a share of projected federal spending (about 4.0 percent)? Maybe the paper could compare to the size of the tax cuts proposed by governor Romney (less than 50 percent)?
The he said/she said at the end of this piece is killing trees for nothing. It provides no useful information to readers. (We already knew that Republicans didn't like the plan and Democrats do.) It would have required minimal effort to put these numbers in a context that provided useful information to readers.