Healthcare via Twitter

| Thu Jan. 14, 2010 6:15 PM EST

One of the things Twitter does for us is provide a glimpse into how reporters work. And guess what: they're as confused as the rest of us sometimes! Here's an ongoing Twitter exchange about the latest healthcare deal between Time's Karen Tumulty, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, and the New Republic's Jonathan Cohn:

Tumulty: 2 me, it sounds like the big news in this #hcr deal is (at least as union guys explained it) allowing any employer 2 buy into the exchanges.

Klein: Yeah, I want to hear the White House on that.

Tumulty: Me too. Lots of details missing -- like what would they have to pay to get in? Would they have to reimburse feds for subsidies?

Klein: This is a bit unclear right now, but it sounds like this deal opens the exchanges to all employers in 2017. Trying to figure this out.

Cohn: so i missed the earlier question on this - was on with operator - did we get answers on the exchange questions?

Tumulty: not yet. WH: "There are a lot of the discussions going on now...not something that can be answered" in detail.

Klein: I just asked again, and I wouldn't say we did.

Cohn: yeah, just heard. so do we think labor guys just got it wrong on their conf call? they sounded a bit confused.

Cohn: I would have to agree with that assessment!

Tumulty: boy, these WH guys don't want to talk about that. do we think the union guys got ahead of themselves?

Cohn: So I didn't get much of an answer either -- and then they cut me off before I could follow up

Klein: My bet is the unions are right on their part of it. Employers: still up in the air?

Klein: Senior White House official: "Over time, the exchanges will open to more and more people."

Twitter: now bringing you the real-time confusion usually reserved for natural disasters and terrorist attacks even for boring stuff!

Not to worry, though. In a few hours all three of these folks will figure out what's going on and crank out a few hundred well crafted words explaining it. At least, they'd better. Because they owe it to me.