October 7, 2009
Pollsters push people to accept ObamacareBy William Tate
Gallup has unintentionally revealed how they, and other polling organizations, have been pushing the public to accept Obamacare.
The revelation came in a report late last month which revealed that a significant majority of Americans believes that individuals themselves, and not the government, should be responsible for ensuring they have health insurance. According to Gallup, 61% of folks they surveyed believe that health insurance should be left to the individual, not the nanny state. Unsurprisingly, 89% of Republicans held that view, but so did 64% of independents. Only Democrats, at 62%, wanted Big Brother to shoulder the responsibility.
Even though the survey was released on September 30, not too many folks have seen these numbers. As they do with most anti-Obamacare news, the Democrats' Big Media acolytes have avoided the report like it was carrying swine flu germs.
Gallup's dismay at the results is palpable throughout their report on the new survey. They even gave the release a misleading title, "Many in U.S. See Health Insurance as Personal Responsibility," rather than the more accurate, Majority in U.S. See Health Insurance as Personal Responsibility.
While they spun the title, Gallup couldn't actually spin the hard numbers, so they quickly pointed out, "Other national polls on this topic have found a higher degree of public support for government involvement in guaranteeing healthcare coverage..." Then Gallup disclosed that "those (poll) question wordings do not provide a non-governmental alternative."
In other words, the Gallup release admits that its previous surveys about whether the government, or the folks themselves, should be responsible for their health insurance omitted the half of the equation dealing with individual responsibility.
A noggin-scratcher that might even qualify you for psychiatric counseling under Obamacare: How is that even possible? How can you ask someone, Which do you prefer a or b?, if you don't even mention b?
Answer: It ain't easy.
Let's look at the question asked in Gallup's recent survey, the one that showed Americans think folks ought to be responsible.
A little wordy, but given the multiple choice nature of the question, otherwise relatively plain. And, when given a clear choice, a majority of folks chose individual responsibility.
Now, the question which Gallup says it has asked in previous surveys:
No mention of any other option, just the government one.
This is the equivalent of, during last year's election, a poll asking, Who do you plan to vote for, Barack Obama ... or someone not named Barack Obama? Although, the way things are going, that could be a survey question they actually use in 2012.
The Gallup release highlights that similar polls from the New York Times/CBS and Fox News asked the same question in almost identical language. None of these surveys gave folks an option, other than government responsibility, for health insurance.
Even so, all three of the surveys find public support for government healthcare eroding.
Gallup says that, using their a, or non-a, question, support for government responsibility for healthcare was down to 54% the last time they used it (in November of last year) from an all-time high of 69%.
In September, only 51% of the respondents agreed when the CBS/New York Times poll asked them, "Do you think the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans, or isn't this the responsibility of the federal government?" That's the same number that agreed when the Fox News poll asked in July, "Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?"
As with Gallup, both those surveys showed public support for government control slipping.
Even when asked a multiple choice question with only one choice, folks are just plain reluctant to cede government with responsibility for their healthcare.
When finally given an option, in this most recent Gallup poll, most Americans side with individual responsibility over government oversight when it comes to healthcare.
William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author