Lefties have been shouting from the mountain tops: "By 2 to 1 margin, Americans want MORE health reform, not less!"
Really? Americans are clamouring for more ObamaCare? No. They. Aren't.
This one is even further from the truth: "Repeal? Many Wish Health Reform Went Further."
Wishful Democrat-friendly analysis of this new poll conduced by the AP is completely bogus ― the left-leaning media are comparing apples with potatoes. (And as S & L points out, the project was conduced with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a left-wing organization that views the private health insurance market as as a "barrier" to health care.)
Here are the most important numbers from the poll:
"In general, do you favor, oppose, or neither favor nor oppose the law changing the health care system that the U.S. Congress passed last March?"
- Favor: 30%
- Oppose: 40%
- Neither favor nor oppose: 30%
Perhaps even more importantly, strong opposition outweighed strong support 23% to 9%. Obama's handmaidens carefully buried these numbers.
What did CBS conclude? "A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1."
It is true that the AP poll indicates that about 40% of Americans wish for better reform while 20% say the federal government should not be involved in health care at all (there's your 2:1 ratio). However, as we shall soon see, the same AP poll shows that 40% of Americans think ObamaCare has taken us in the wrong direction, and they certainly don't want to go even further down that road.
Let's dig a little deeper:
Of the respondents who said either said they supported the Democrats' new health care legislation (30%) or were neutral (30%), the following question was asked:
"Do you think that the health care law passed last March by Congress should have done more to change the health care system, or do you not think that?"
- It should have done more: 61%
- Do not think that: 36%
That's the question that yields the bulk of the responses that lead the AP to conclude that "about four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough."
Take note of the fact that "go far enough" were not the words used in the the poll. "Go further" and "do more" don't mean the same thing. But by pushing the "go further" meme, the AP and others (such as CBS and HuffPo) strongly and deceptively imply that this large minority of Americans who want "more" are explicitly asking for a more progressive bill with more goodies and a higher cost.
For example, shortly after making the assertion that "U.S. Wants More Health Reform, Not Less," CBS provided this quote in juxtaposition:
"'I was disappointed that it didn't provide universal coverage,' said Bronwyn Bleakley, 35, a biology professor from Easton, Mass."
It's very dishonest to imply that "do more" directly translates to universal coverage. Does everyone who wants effective legislation really want bigger reform ... or do they want better reform? Do they want a more liberal form of health care reform with universal coverage or do they want a smarter, more conservative form of health care reform with portability, tort reform, tax credits for individuals (not just for employers), and the freedom to cross state lines with health insurance purchases?
Another recent poll from the AP (released on September 16) shows that Americans do NOT think that bigger government is better government. Here's the question:
"If you had to choose, would you favor a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?"
"Smaller government with fewer services" was the clear winner with a 17 point lead (57/40).
Americans' desire for leaner government notwithstanding, CBS warns Republicans against repealing ObamaCare:
"Republicans are going to have to contend with the 75 percent who want substantial changes in the system,' said Stanford political science professor Jon Krosnick, who directed the university's participation.
"'Republican legislators' passion to repeal the legislation is understandable if they are paying attention to members of their own party,' Krosnick added. 'But if they want to be responsive to all Americans, there are more Democrats and independents than there are Republicans.'"
As the AP's own numbers show, if Republicans want to be responsive to the majority of Americans, they'll fight for less government, not more. A big majority of Americans are calling for a government that provides fewer services. And if lazy Journolistas would dig a little deeper, they'd find that while at least 40% of Americans do want changes to the health care system (presumably including conservative proposals), an equal number of Americans think ObamaCare has taken us in the wrong direction.
In the AP Poll, the respondents who said either said they opposed the bill (40%) or were neutral (30%) were asked the following:
"Which of the following best expresses your view of the health care law that Congress passed last March?"
The majority preferred one of two responses:
- I oppose most or all of the changes made by the law: 28%
- I oppose the law because I think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all: 28%
So according to this poll, about 40% of Americans (56% of the 70%) think ObamaCare is mostly (or completely) bad. Democrats are going to have to contend with that.
No poll funded by the left would be complete without an attempt to illicit "wrong" answers from the opposition. The AP says ObamaCare will cut the deficit, 81% of Americans disagree. Sorry, AP, you're wrong.
The AP also says that Americans are mistaken in saying ObamaCare will set up panels of bureaucrats to make decisions about people's care. Remember this chart? I rest my case.
Read it all: The Associated Press 2010 Health Care Reform Survey by Stanford University With The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Conducted By Knowledge Networks
Stanford University's participation in the project was made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.