Friday, September 4, 2009

How Corporations Game Our Perceptions

Here's the lede:
LOS ANGELES — Dismayed by the number of poor children about to be dropped from a publicly subsidized health insurance program, California lawmakers voted Thursday to levy a tax on insurance companies to help maintain the program, which had been slashed into near nonexistence as part of the state’s budget.
OMG! The dysfunctional State of California has managed to pass a tax! The apocalypse is nigh!

Not so much. Buried down in the story is this:
Under the new law, which Mr. Schwarzenegger has pledged to sign, health insurance companies that participate in the state’s Medicaid program will face a 2.35 percent tax on gross revenues, replacing the 5.5 percent existing tax that will end in October.
A better opening to the story would be "In the face of 700,000 uninsured children, California legislators and governor agree to cut taxes funding their coverage by nearly 60%."

On a totally unrelated note, the spell checker tells me "lede" is misspelled. I appreciate having a spell checker that subtly highlights words it doesn't recognize, I just wish it had a broader vocabulary.

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