Re: Re: Re: WTMJ makes legal claim that Charlie Sykes is "Bonafide News."

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Posted by Hutton, N. on May 30, 2013 at 17:32:57:

In Reply to: Re: Re: WTMJ makes legal claim that Charlie Sykes is "Bonafide News." posted by Sue Wilson on May 30, 2013 at 15:42:24:

Sue summed it up well, saying her petition and the story just aims at leveling the playing field. I know we don't have the Fairness Doctrine and I know it wasn't God's Gift to radio but what goes on with the free radio PR machines at WTMJ and WISN in Milwaukee and elsewhere, isn't right. I could give several examples of what I refer to, but I'll stick to one since this is our industry space and not a political forum.

My case in point: today Charlie Sykes spent his entire show talking about how Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) is going to mandate you tell your employer your entire household income before they can provide you health insurance. Ooooh scary scary! Open the lines to all calls fitting one of these two qualifiers: 1) Terrified elderly person sitting in their assisted living apartment, calling to ask if it's really going to happen and almost breaking into tears at the thought of their children's privacy being invaded. Or 2) Anyone that is - or pretends to be, it doesn't matter - a current or former insurance company official that can confirm Obamacare will bring horrible terror.

At the same time, Sykes ranted about Kathleen Sebelius (HHS head) "holding up" insurance and health-related companies. She wants their donations in order to spread the Obama administration's "spin". And if these companies say no, one call and those companies will be subject to retaliation by the White House or other government agencies.

Charlie knows darn well Kathleen Sebelius launched this initiative in order to be able to inform the public about the way the Affordable Care Act works, because Congress (read: Republicans) refuses to allocate ANY money for a public information campaign. So you have the HHS head swimming upstream near the deadline, trying to tell people what the ACA does, who benefits from it, who might see any effects that could be confusing or concerning, how it changes things and why it changes things, etc. Meanwhile you have Sykes and others throughout the state, along with brothers and sisters on the air across the nation, along with one specific cable news network (basic), along with countless former TV personalities turned web site network personalities, blogs, right "news" web sites and forums. All spreading the same lies and manipulations of the truth, and the people lap it up like an invalid in an old folk's home being fed apple sauce. If it's not illegal, it's at least just sad.

The truth in the story Charlie spoke about today is that households are required to provide their total income in order to qualify them for any subsidies (assistance, help paying) to purchase insurance through the exchanges under the ACA. If no subsidies are warranted, the employer must affirm the employee portion of their employer provided insurance (how much the employee pays) does not exceed 9.5% of their household's total income. If it does and their rate isn't lowered to correct the error, the employer could be subject to a fine if audited. But no one will make that mistake because the process is documented, easy to follow for the employer and employee, and absolutely confidential.

However, since Kathleen Sebelius isn't having much luck getting donations from the insurance companies the ACA provides so many new clients for, most of the general public will not hear the truth. They'll hear the garbage from WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM fear mongers and sop it up, hence the need for Sue's petition.

-- N.

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