• Addressing the 'Medical Malady': Second-Level Agenda Setting and Public Approval of 'Obamacare'

      Fahmy, Shahira; Conway, Bethany Anne; Harwood, Jake; Relly, Jeannine (The University of Arizona., 2011)
      This study examined second-level agenda setting effects of six news sources on public opinion about the health care reform bill proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. The affective attributes (tone) of media coverage were measured immediately and cumulatively. A regression analysis found cumulative affective attribute salience, but not immediate affective attribute salience, was a significant predictor of support in public opinion polls. Separate regression analyses found that effects were greater on Republicans than on those who identified with another political party. A final regression analysis was performed to examine whether support in public opinion polls was a predictor of affective attribute salience in the media. Support was also measured both immediately and cumulatively. Findings show that only immediate support in public opinion polls was a predictor of affective attribute salience in the media. The political implications and the consequences for health care policy are discussed.