Sunday, March 20, 2011

Health Reform Polls Show Confusion and Division

Americans Remain Divided, Confused About Health Law as Anniversary Nears

Phil, Galewitz, Title of paper, Kaiser Health News, March 18, 2011

Confused we stand. Divided we fall.


If you have a divided opinion and are confused about health reform, join the crowd. Consider these March 18 opinion polls about the health reform law.

• 42% of Americans favor the law while 46% are against it.

• 71% of Democrats back the law and 82% of Republicans oppose it.

• Of those against the law, 20% mention excess costs, 19% too much government, and 18% concerns over the individual mandate.

• 53% are confused about the law.

• 67% say states should be allowed to substitute their version of reform as long as its meets federal standards.

• 67% support repeal of the individual mandate.

• 52% of seniors have unfavorable views of the law, and 42% are for it.

• Poll averages of ten national polls indicate 39.0% favor the Obama plan and 51.9% oppose it.

Sources: Kaiser Health News and Real Clear Politics

Why this mixed picture? In my unpolled opinion, there are three factors: 1) Ramming through the law against unanimous Republican opposition without thinking though the consequences; 2) lack of a cohesive story of what the law is all about ; 3) a fundamental misunderstanding of culture is about in a culturally diverse country like the U.S.

On a lighter note, reasons exist to mistrust polls, which are merely a snapshot in time. As the late Erma Bombeck noted, “I haven’t trusted polls since I read 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I have never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.” Will Rogers chimed in that polls in the South will always indicate the voters will vote dry, “As long as everybody is sober enough to stagger to the polls.” Warren Buffet concluded soberly, “A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”

There is nothing like a poll,

It signals the eventual whole.

There is nothing like a poll.

It resembles an early stroll.

In the end, it takes finally an election,

To see if polls point the right direction.

You can’t always trust them.

When there’s political mayhem.

Besides, to use an obvious example,

You can slant your population sample,

Just ask the right questions,

And give leading suggestions.

1 comment: said...

To my mind everybody have to glance at this.