Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deceptive Health Care Polls

We often hear it cited that polls show most Americans are against the health care reform bill (ACA). Rarely if ever do I see a poll actually showing this majority against, however I have seen polls (like the one below, click to enlarge) where the verdict is very tight.

Source: PollingReport.com

But take a closer look and you'll notice a bit of chicanery occurring with these polls. It's first asked whether one favors or opposes the ACA. In this case, as often is the case, it's a very close call, with 45% favoring and 44% opposing.

But the poll then specifies of those opposing, what percent feel the bill doesn't go far enough in reforming health care and what percent believe the bill goes too far. In this case, of those who answered the first part of this question with an "oppose" reply, 22% opposed the bill because it didn't go far enough, with 68% believing it goes too far.

In no way can people making up this 22% be included with those who oppose the bill overall because they feel it goes too far, and yet that's what repeatedly occurs with these types of polls. In effect, the more adamant and upset liberal individuals are included with the more conservative, right-wing respondents to comprise the overall "44% oppose" category.  And yet, as I just stated, these liberals are not at all in opposition of the bill for the same reason the right-wingers oppose it.

So let's do a little correcting to clear the air. If 22% of the 44% who oppose the bill actually believe it doesn't go far enough, then in reality those individuals are actually very much for health care reform in general. 22% of 44% = about 10%. If we add this 10% to the 45% who favor the health care reform bill, the poll would then look like the following:

                      55% FAVOR health care reform in general
                      34% OPPOSE health care reform in general

Wow, a whopping 21% gap, quite a difference.

Clearly most Americans either favor the ACA or wish that even more health care reforms were present in the bill -- a far cry from what the poll would have one believe at first glance.

1 comment:

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