Mainstream media: 60 percent of Americans want single-payer!

We've all heard the old adage: "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."  Up to the day before the presidential election last November, a majority of news media outlets routinely relied on fraudulent, phony, over-sampled, skewed, and mostly inaccurate polling numbers.  It was widely accepted that Hillary Clinton's seemingly assured waltz back into the White House would be historic, and by a landslide.  A funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box: Hillary was thwarted, and the pollsters were forced to dine on a big plate of crow.

Fast-forward nine months: the national conversation has turned to repealing and perhaps replacing Obamacare, discounting the still simmering scandal of Russian involvement or  tampering or collusion as it applies to the presidential election.  Unfortunately, some of the same pollsters (and those who report on the polling results) are back at their unsavory craft.  Just how disingenuous are the polls and the people who interpret the numbers?  Routinely inaccurate – or more to the point, they lie!  On purpose and for a reason, to sway public opinion, regardless of the facts.

MSNBC recently aired a segment on universal (single-payer) health care, hosted by Ari Velshi.  Mr. Velshi claimed that according to the Pew Research Center, 60% of all Americans want the U.S. government to manage their health care coverage.  His outrageous statement immediately caught my attention for several reasons:

1. According to the most recent U.S. population estimate, there are approximately 322 million Americans.  If what Mr. Velshi reported is correct, a little more than 193 million Americans have adopted a defeatist attitude and are willing to submit, turning over the responsibility of their health care coverage to the U.S. government.  Given the fiscally painful and ongoing disaster that is Obamacare (insurance premium increases slated in 2018 and the loss of health care insurers in multiple state exchanges), I'm not wholly convinced that 193 million Americans trust the American government to manage their health care insurance, much less their medical needs.

2. Trust me when I say 60% of the American population was not polled by the Pew Research Center.  To state that 60% of all Americans want the federal government to provide health care coverage is preposterous; patently false; and, per the usual, fake news.  That didn't stop Mr. Velshi from twisting the actual polling results, so I did the research myself.  For the record, a mere 2,504 adults were polled by Pew – far short of Mr. Velshi's claim of 60%, or 193 million Americans.  See how liars figure?

Not surprisingly, what Mr. Velshi claimed doesn't differ all that much from what from Jocelyn Kiley, associate director at the Pew Research Center, wrote: "[a] majority of Americans say it is the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And a growing share now supports a 'single payer' approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center."  The numbers indicate otherwise.

The poll conducted last month, between June 8 and June 18 included 2,504 adults.  They were asked if they believe it's the government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage – not medical care, but just health care insurance coverage.  Sixty percent agreed that it's the government's responsibility; 39% stated that it's not the government's responsibility.

Drilling down through the numbers, ensuring that the government provide health care coverage for all doesn't equate to the government adopting a single-payer health care system.  In fact, 33% favor single-payer.  That number is up 5% since 2014.  The "growing share" Ms. Kiley refers to in her opening paragraph is (in fact) only 33% of those polled, or 826 people.  And there is little support on either side of the political spectrum for the government to completely pull out of the health care business; according to Ms. Kiley, most of those polled believe that the government should continue programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Whatever the final outcome of the Obamacare debate in Congress, one thing is for certain: figures don't lie, but liars will continue to figure out how to twist, tweak, and contort polling numbers in order to convince those who are easily conned into believing anything as long as some poll says so.

The complete results of the poll, the methodology, and Ms. Kiley's report can be found here

We've all heard the old adage: "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."  Up to the day before the presidential election last November, a majority of news media outlets routinely relied on fraudulent, phony, over-sampled, skewed, and mostly inaccurate polling numbers.  It was widely accepted that Hillary Clinton's seemingly assured waltz back into the White House would be historic, and by a landslide.  A funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box: Hillary was thwarted, and the pollsters were forced to dine on a big plate of crow.

Fast-forward nine months: the national conversation has turned to repealing and perhaps replacing Obamacare, discounting the still simmering scandal of Russian involvement or  tampering or collusion as it applies to the presidential election.  Unfortunately, some of the same pollsters (and those who report on the polling results) are back at their unsavory craft.  Just how disingenuous are the polls and the people who interpret the numbers?  Routinely inaccurate – or more to the point, they lie!  On purpose and for a reason, to sway public opinion, regardless of the facts.

MSNBC recently aired a segment on universal (single-payer) health care, hosted by Ari Velshi.  Mr. Velshi claimed that according to the Pew Research Center, 60% of all Americans want the U.S. government to manage their health care coverage.  His outrageous statement immediately caught my attention for several reasons:

1. According to the most recent U.S. population estimate, there are approximately 322 million Americans.  If what Mr. Velshi reported is correct, a little more than 193 million Americans have adopted a defeatist attitude and are willing to submit, turning over the responsibility of their health care coverage to the U.S. government.  Given the fiscally painful and ongoing disaster that is Obamacare (insurance premium increases slated in 2018 and the loss of health care insurers in multiple state exchanges), I'm not wholly convinced that 193 million Americans trust the American government to manage their health care insurance, much less their medical needs.

2. Trust me when I say 60% of the American population was not polled by the Pew Research Center.  To state that 60% of all Americans want the federal government to provide health care coverage is preposterous; patently false; and, per the usual, fake news.  That didn't stop Mr. Velshi from twisting the actual polling results, so I did the research myself.  For the record, a mere 2,504 adults were polled by Pew – far short of Mr. Velshi's claim of 60%, or 193 million Americans.  See how liars figure?

Not surprisingly, what Mr. Velshi claimed doesn't differ all that much from what from Jocelyn Kiley, associate director at the Pew Research Center, wrote: "[a] majority of Americans say it is the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And a growing share now supports a 'single payer' approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center."  The numbers indicate otherwise.

The poll conducted last month, between June 8 and June 18 included 2,504 adults.  They were asked if they believe it's the government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage – not medical care, but just health care insurance coverage.  Sixty percent agreed that it's the government's responsibility; 39% stated that it's not the government's responsibility.

Drilling down through the numbers, ensuring that the government provide health care coverage for all doesn't equate to the government adopting a single-payer health care system.  In fact, 33% favor single-payer.  That number is up 5% since 2014.  The "growing share" Ms. Kiley refers to in her opening paragraph is (in fact) only 33% of those polled, or 826 people.  And there is little support on either side of the political spectrum for the government to completely pull out of the health care business; according to Ms. Kiley, most of those polled believe that the government should continue programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Whatever the final outcome of the Obamacare debate in Congress, one thing is for certain: figures don't lie, but liars will continue to figure out how to twist, tweak, and contort polling numbers in order to convince those who are easily conned into believing anything as long as some poll says so.

The complete results of the poll, the methodology, and Ms. Kiley's report can be found here