The News Narrative: Crunch Time for Health Care

  • March 09, 2010

With President Obama dramatically raising the stakes and investing a major chunk of political capital in the battle, the health care debate continued its resurgence in the news, topping the media agenda for the second straight week.

From March 1-7, health care accounted for 18% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Although that is down from 24% the previous week, it marks a strong overall comeback for a subject that dropped from the media glare earlier this year when the prospects for passing, or even voting on legislation seemed to have dimmed.

Last week, the narrative was driven by Obama's White House remarks on the afternoon of March 3 pushing for approval of a bill within a few weeks and declaring, that “now is the time to make a decision.” That came six days after a televised health care “summit” that highlighted but failed to ameliorate the seemingly intractable divisions between Republicans and Democrats. Much of last week's media coverage and commentary focused on two major points—the extent of Obama's political gamble and the very uncertain  prospects for passage.

Read the full report The News Narrative: Crunch Time for Health Care on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.