ERIC Number: ED334625
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Media and the Fate of the Medicare Catastrophic Extension Act.
Fan, David P.; Norem, Lois
A study examined the relationships between the media, public opinion and the Medicare Catastrophic Act of 1988 which was repealed in 1989. Using the NEXIS electronic database, 11 years (1977-89) of news articles, opinion pieces, editorials, and letters to the editor were harvested in random sequence from the Associated Press news wire, the "Los Angeles Times," the "New York Times," and the "Washington Post." Results confirmed earlier studies showing that time trends of opinion--in this case that of senior citizens over 65 years of age--could be forecast from mass media stories. The findings are consistent with the model that legislation occurs in an opinion climate shaped by the media. For catastrophic health, the time needed to craft compromise legislation in response to objections to the original bill was cut short by the impending deadline for payments by the elderly beginning January 1990. Therefore, outright repeal rather than modification was the result. In addition to being a key conduit for passing information and pressures to the public and lawmakers, the media could also serve as a meter for indicating the impact of important messages passed through other channels such as direct mailings. Future research needs to focus on the extent to which the press is also able to convey and gage the major influences in lawmakers. (Twelve figures and 1 table are included; 30 references are attached.) (Author/PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catastrophic Health Care; Medicare; NEXIS; Opinion Polls
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991).