Not News: AFP Runs Stale Obama-Supporting Health Care Poll Done Before House Bill Even Debuted

AFPpicSidebarOnObamaPollStory080409About the only thing you can conclude about the Agence France-Presse wire service's August 4 "news" item about a health care poll result ("Majority back Obama on health care reform: poll") is that they couldn't find anything more recent than three weeks old to provide the result they were looking for. So AFP went back to a poll done between July 9-13 -- an online one no less. As NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard would say, "I kid you not."

The House Democrats' 1,018-page health-care plan wasn't even released until late in the day on Tuesday, July 14. To say that AFP's report and the related poll results are worse than worthless to any current discussions is almost to praise them too much.

Here is a mini-pic of the first several paragraphs presented for fair use, discussion, and repudiation purposes:

AFP080409on0713HealthPoll

More recent data indicates that opposition to ObamaCare is growing, and that the alleged support cited by AFP was disputable even at the time its poll was commissioned. CNS News reported the following on Thursday (links to polls added by me):

Last month, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 46 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care reform, while 41 percent approved. A Rasmussen poll last monthshowed 53 percent opposing the Obama-backed plan, up from 45 percent opposed in June, and the 49 (percent) opposed two weeks earlier.

Rasmussen's polling was done July 20-21 (go to the very bottom at link), meaning that the "two weeks earlier" 49% level of opposition was present a few days before the Obama-supportive poll cited by AFP took place.. The Journal's poll was taken July 24-27. The Rasmussen result represents an astonishing 30-point swing from what AFP touted (AFP was +22; Rasmussen is -8).

A better AFP headline would have been, "Americans Liked Dems' Health Care Plan Before They Learned What Was In It."

There are still lingering strengths in ObamaCare's support, as noted in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday. Yes, it shows that "American voters disapprove 52 - 39 percent of the way President Obama is handling health care, down from 46 - 42 percent approval July 1." But, among several troubling things, "62 - 32 percent (are) in favor of giving people the option of a government insurance plan," and "61 - 36 percent (are) for higher taxes on high income earners to pay for health care reform."

The "public option" result, though eight points lower than AFP, shows that ObamaCare opponents have not persuaded enough of the American people that the public option's purpose is be the flypaper that attracts those who either won't be able to find any private insurance due to a life event like a job change, or who will lose their company-provided coverage when their employers figure out that off-loading their employees onto the government is a cost-saving (and perhaps even survival) strategy. The "public option" is the roach motel of heath care; once you go in, the intent is you can will never come out.

The tax-related Quinnipiac result demonstrates two things:

  • That not enough of the public understands the draconian nature of two-tiered tax federal income tax increases currently on the table. First, there's restoration of the higher rate structure that was in effect before 2001. Second, there will be additional taxes of up to 5.4% of income on top of that. As shown here, these would increase the taxes paid by those affected by up to 31%.
  • That not enough of the public understands that the increases proposed, even if somehow collected (i.e., naively assuming no legal tax avoidance actions by those who do not wish to pay more), are not enough to fully fund ObamaCare's ambitious and costly plans.

I would suggest that ObamaCare will have a chance of passage if the true statist intention and the fundamental immorality of the "public option" aren't both fully exposed. Time is shorter than one might think.

In the meantime, the establishment media, as AFP, has shown it will tout alleged support for ObamaCare, even if it has to dig into ancient history to do it.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.