The legally-complicated language of the US Supreme Court’s decision on Obama’s healthcare mandate has reportedly prompted misinterpreted reporting by CNN and Fox News.
The inaccurate reports pleased the Republican opponents of the US president for moments when the two news networks rushed to mistakenly announce that the healthcare law had been struck down.
This is while, the 59-page decision, which was chock-full of legalese and straining terminology, had, to the contrary, upheld most of Obama's healthcare overhaul and a mandate that nearly every American should have health insurance, The Associated Press reported.
CNN apologized for the matter, saying it "regrets that it didn't wait to report out the full and complete opinion."
Fox, however, refused to apologize and insisted that it had been right. "Fox reported the facts, as they came in," said the network’s executive, Michael Clemente.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer and reporter Kate Bolduan had reported at 10:08 a.m. that the healthcare law had been struck down based on a reading of Chief Justice John Roberts' decision that the mandate was not a valid exercise of congressional power under the commerce clause of the Constitution.
"The court striking down that mandate is a dramatic blow to the president," said CNN reporter John King.
Fox had likewise misreported the substance of the verdict, but, minutes later, it deleted its wrong onscreen headline that "Supreme Court Finds Health Care Individual Mandate Unconstitutional."
The Supreme Court had voted 5-4 in favor of the healthcare reform plan. The court’s justices had said, though the “individual mandate” was not valid under the US Constitution's Commerce Clause, it was legal under the US government's tax powers.
The mandate has been severely opposed by 28 Republican-controlled states as they believe that the Obama administration has no right to force people into insurance programs.
The reforms, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), had been introduced on March 23, 2010, Obama’s first year in the White House.