Free Markets, Free People


WaPo Tries To Spin Poll On Health Care

The Washington Post has a new poll out in which they declare that two of the most controversial aspects of the health care reform legislation working its way through Congress now enjoy majority approval. Those are the public option and the insurance mandate that requires everyone get insurance.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that much of the support for the public option is based more on a fantasy than reality. I think that a majority, if there truly is one, have bought into the talking points of “choice and competition.” Neither will exist once the public option, as envisioned by Congress, is actually in place. What leads me to believe that’s the case is this sentence later in the WaPo story:

Independents and senior citizens, two groups crucial to the debate, have warmed to the idea of a public option, and are particularly supportive if it would be administered by the states and limited to those without access to affordable private coverage.

Essentially what that describes is Medicaid – not a public option. Medicaid is administered by the states. Of course removing restrictions which prohibit insurance companies from selling across state lines and removing state mandates which drive up the overall cost of a policy would most likely provide “affordable private coverage”. But as usual those provisions have been rejected by Democrats writing the legislation even though they’ve been brought up repeatedly by Republicans.

Now I don’t equate Medicaid with the “public option” that I’ve heard politicians talk about.

Interestingly, deeper in the story and after trumpeting a “majority” now backing the public option, the Post says:

Overall, 45 percent of Americans favor the broad outlines of the proposals now moving in Congress, while 48 percent are opposed, about the same division that existed in August, at the height of angry town hall meetings over health-care reform. Seven in 10 Democrats back the plan, while almost nine in 10 Republicans oppose it. Independents divide 52 percent against, 42 percent in favor of the legislation.

In other words, the headline could have just as easily been “Majority still opposes health care reform” and/or “Majority of Independents Not In Favor Of Health Care Legislation”.

Instead we get “Public Option Gains Support”. That’s really irrelevant if the total bill is seen as unacceptable not to mention the numbers of opposed vs. those in favor haven’t changed since August.

But then, it all depends on how you want to spin something, doesn’t it?

~McQ

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18 Responses to WaPo Tries To Spin Poll On Health Care

  • Good catch on the language. I suspect that you are right about the bias in the poll. otherwise they would have just dropped the qualifying statements and pushed the story as unequivocal support of the public option.

    Meanwhile,

    “Of course removing restrictions which prohibit insurance companies from selling across state lines, and removing state mandates which drive up the overall cost of a policy would most likely provide “affordable privae coverage”.”

    I strongly favor both of these, but the second I see as problematic. I suspect that, with this Congress, the second will just result in substituting the current set of state mandates, some of which are affordable and some of which aren’t, with a set of unaffordable Federal mandates applying to everyone. If that happens, allowing the insurance companies to sell across state lines will actually be a disaster, because all the little lobbies that are seeking some rent won’t have to lobby 50 different state legislatures to get their favored procedures covered, they will just have to lobby the Dems in Washington.

    A couple of weeks ago I was watching CSPAN (I know, I’m apparently a masochist) and after several Dems getting up to scold the Reps for “having no plan,” B.Boxer got up to attack the Rep plans. It was kind of amusing because she seemed to have absolutely no awareness whatsoever of how that made her Dem collegues blanket statement of “no Rep plan” look. Her main argument against selling insurance across state lines was that other states didn’t provide all of the mandates that Cali does, so her constituents would be “at the mercy of the government of Mississippi to protect them from the insurance companies.” If the Reps somehow get that provision into the Baucus travesty, I’d imagine that this will become the rallying cry of the Dems.

  • What were the poll questions and internals? Note the wording of the story (and “story” is an increasing accurate description of what MiniTru often publishes):

    Independents and senior citizens, two groups crucial to the debate, have warmed to the idea of a public option, and are particularly supportive if it would be administered by the states and limited to those without access to affordable private coverage.

    IF.

    Hell, the plan would get MY support IF it had torte reform, no penalties for failure to sign up for insurance, allowed insurance to be sold across state lines, and mandated an immediate, automatic, unappealable death penalty for the members of Congress who vote for it if it winds up increasing the national debt by a single penny.

    I’m reminded of a line from “Meet John Doe”:

    “We’ve been fed baloney for so long, we’re starting to get used to it!”

    • Dollars to donuts the internals are seriously skewed.

      • GIVE THE MAN A KEWPIE DOLL!

        According to Hot Air:

        The sampling comprises 33% Democrats, as opposed to only 20% Republicans. That thirteen-point spread is two points larger than their September polling, at 32%/21%. More tellingly, it’s significantly larger than their Election Day sample, which included 35% Democrats to 26% Republicans for a gap of nine points, about a third smaller than the gap in this poll.

        As Cap’n Ed points out:

        … poll watchers need to remember the recent Gallup poll on party affiliation? Gallup polled 5,000 adults and found that the gap between Democrats and Republicans had closed to the smallest margin since 2005, six points, and had been reduced more than half since the beginning of the year. For the WaPo/ABC poll, though, their sample gap has increased almost 50% during that time.

        http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/20/wapoabc-poll-uses-skewed-sample-to-show-public-option-support/

        It’s almost like the WaPo is trying to push a point of view rather than act like a news organization. I’d even go so far as to say that they are acting as an arm of a political party. I’m going to stop treating them like a news organization, and I suggest that everybody else do the same.

  • If the poll’s sample is so skewed, then the public opposition to the whole effort is growing. The poll is camo on that.

  • Somehow, the ABC News/WaPo polls always seem to get numbers that no one but The New York Times gets. That is, always positive for the liberal position.

    In this case, all you need do is scan the liberal media this morning, and hear the constant refrain of “the people support a public option,” which no poll showed until this one. Strange how every poll up to now showed growing dissatisfaction with the Demmies’ plan, the public option, and the whole shebang.

    My take is that ABC News/WaPo pasted this poll together to give cover to their liberal shills on Capitol Hill. This comes one day after they gave a warm and unsurprising endorsement of the candidacy of Creigh Deeds, the Demmie gubernatorial candidate in Virginia whose chances of being elected look slimmer each passing day.

  • Reading the comments, I can tell which are the Republicans. They are the ones who dismiss the results of this poll. All I can say is, do so at your own peril and then ask why your party is shrinking.

    • The Dems can ignore all polls coming out at their peril as well. Chances are they will be the shrinking party come the mid-terms…

    • “Reading the comments, I can tell which are the Republicans.”

      Of course you can. We are ones with the brains.

      But thanks for noticing anyway.

  • We’re mostly libertarians here. I don’t have a party. I have a country. You?

    Forget the polls, HC reform is tanking. Big time. Don’t believe me? Henry Waxman was on a local conservative talk show yesterday (Dennis Prager) all humbled up head to toe with the “Aw, shucks, I’m just a faithful servant of the people routine.”

    Waxman knows independents and republicans are bailing. Politicians rarely reach out to the “other” unless they need to.

    Baucus Bill=Hail Mary Pass.

  • “The Dems can ignore all polls coming out at their peril as well. Chances are they will be the shrinking party come the mid-terms…”

    I believe Shark and many of the rest of his party, whomever they consist of (Republicans, Independents, Conservatives, Libertarians, Democrats), ignored the tell tale signs of the shift in politics and the dems, whomever they consist of may be doing so as well. So one either believes polls from the NY Times or Fox, from the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal, etc. So how do we know the sources of the polls are unbiased?

    As far as the “come on please” post I guess I hadn’t realized so many Independents and Republicans supported health care reform to start with. So they all are bailing now? I did like Waxman’s quote “Aw shucks, I am just a faithful servant of the people routine.”

    I would have thought only people from hillybilly states would say “Aw shucks.”

  • He didn’t actually say “Aw, shucks,” but he left his partisan hat at home.

    Have you ever seen Waxman? He’d have to get plastic surgery to look as good as any redneck.

    Yes, I do support HC Reform. I support the govt. at every level, local, state and federal getting out of HC entirely. That’s reform I can believe in.

    The Dems aren’t serious about any of this stuff. It’s all about power. Nothing more. If they wanted reform, they’d make it legal to buy insurance across state lines and start with tort reform as well. But they ain’t mentioning those things. Why? Because it does nothing to increase their power.

    I mean, just like Mao once said: I got your stinkin’ health care reform right here, right effin’ here…..

  • Waxman’s looks are… well…

    Tort reform is a very small percentage of the cost of health care. Lots of money, billions, but in the big scheme of things….

    “According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. That’s a rounding error. Liability isn’t even the tail on the cost dog. It’s the hair on the end of the tail.”

    Granted a Oby Gyn has to pay more for his/her medical malpractice insurance because they might be paying for life time care from infancy to old age, where a gerontologist would be paying a much shorter time.

    I think most folks would support some degree of health care reform. Sorry, I can’t supply a Executive Order Bush signed to back up my last statement. Oh, and I doubt the dems are the only ones in Washington that think it is all about power.

    Glen Beck “We’re giving our freedoms away. The American experiment was about freedom. Freedom to be stupid, freedom to fail, freedom to succeed.”

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