Ouch! CNN, Fox News Flub Coverage of Supreme Court's Health Care Ruling

Dewey did not defeat Truman and the Supreme Court did not strike down President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — though CNN and Fox News viewers were left understandably confused on the latter this morning, as news broke on the landmark decision.

The Supreme Court’s decision, by a 5-4 vote, to uphold “Obamacare” said that the “individual mandate” requiring citizens to have health care is constitutional, since any “fine” levied against those who go without is considered a tax.

Nonetheless, Fox News was quick to report that the individual mandate had been declared “unconstitutional,” while CNN said the mandate had been “struck down.” Both networks ultimately corrected their reporting, though not before the Twitterverse had much fun at their expense. Perhaps the best of the barbs, courtesy of HitFix‘s Alan Sepinwall:

The two cable news outlets’ confusion likely stemmed from the fact that early sections of the 193-page decision determined that the mandate was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, which gives government the right to regulate commerce. Later passages went on to uphold the mandate, since the Constitution allows for taxes.

SCOTUS did, however, find fault with another provision of the Affordable Care Act, one that would open up Medicaid to anyone with an income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line and thus place undue burden on individual states.

CNN and Fox News screen grabs by Andrew Kaczynski (BuzzFeed) and Jason Keath.

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