Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Lying About The Public Option With Polls

Lying About The Public Option With Polls

The supporters of a government-run “public option” are touting a CBS/NY Times poll which purportedly shows that 65% of people support a public option. But examine how the question is framed, and it is clear that the question is intended to elicit a favorable response:

“Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private insurance plans?”

What if the question were worded differently, such as:

  • “President Obama has said that the current Medicare cost structure is unsustainable. Would you favor or oppose the government offering a similar plan to everyone?”
  • “Would you be in favor of the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — even if it meant that private insurers could not compete with the government?”
  • “Would you be in favor of the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — even if it meant that some employers would drop their private coverage for employees?”

I doubt that questions which included the negative aspects of a public option would result in such positive responses. The question is framed to elicit a misleading answer which then can be used by supporters of the public option to overstate public support.

Indeed, Mark Kleiman was surprised to see CBS/NY Times polling such a formatted question. Kleiman argues that supporters of the public option should try tying the “public option” to the popular Medicare program to gain more support. This pro-public option strategy is exactly how the CBS/NY Times pollsters framed the question, i.e., in the most favorable light for the public option without any hint of the problems facing Medicare or the negative fallout from a public option.

Here’s a question I bet would elicit an even more positive response: “Would you be in favor of a free lunch?”

Yes, indeed, the poll results will show that people overwhelmingly support a free lunch, so there must be such a thing as a free lunch. Let’s restructure our government and economy around providing free lunches to everyone! The polls says it has support, so it must be good.

——————————————–
Related Posts:
Get Rid of the Mandate
IRS The New Health Care Enforcer
Taxing Your Mere Existence

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

It's even more misleading when you consider the skewed sample they used, noted by Ed Morissey here:

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/25/nytcbs-poll-shows-obama-losing-ground-on-health-care-afghanistan/

The Presidential election was heating up and some of the children in Mrs. Smith's 3rd grade class showed an interest. So, Mrs. Smith decided that there would be an election for class president. The nominees were chosen by the students. The final two candidates would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.

The class spoke about what kind of characteristics would be best for a class president. After a rousing discussion of ideas and principals, the class chose James and Olivia to run for the top spot. Mrs. Smith thought that the class did an excellent job in their selections.

Both candidates were good kids. She thought James might have an advantage because he was the star of the local baseball team, was a boy scout and did a great job in class. Olivia was a popular girl that was pretty and well liked, but was just an average student.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches. James went first. He had specific ideas about how to make the class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Everyone applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium.

Her speech was concise. She said "If you vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down.

The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream." She surely could say more. She did not have to.

A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it? She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was the ice cream.

James was forgotten.

Olivia won by a landslide.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend