Friday, September 18, 2009

Fox News health care poll is flawed

Which would you prefer -- the current health care system or the health care
plan proposed by President Obama?

Current health care system: 46% (Dem 20%, Repub 79%)

President Obama’s proposed system: 37%

(Don’t know): 16%

This poll understandably is getting a lot of airtime on FoxNews. Just from this one question I can identify several problems.

1. How many of these folks who are satisfied with their health care plan are on Medicare? Asking this question is the most important part of any health care poll. Fox News lumps everyone together while likely half the satisfied 79% of Republicans are already on "government-run" health care. Why not asked how many on Medicare are satisfied? Because this is always a very high number. Or, ask how many people under 40 are satisfied with their health care... likely a much smaller number.

This is the only nation on earth where a a breadwinner for a family of four can live close to the poverty line, have no health insurance for his family, yet give payroll taxes to cover health care for retired millionaires. Unbelievable. And then, the people on Medicare say 'screw you I got mine.'

2. How old are the respondents? The poll is based on 900 respondents who were contacted by telephone, which means land line telephone, not cell phone, which means the sample is likely skewed to older folks who are more likely to have land lines. The demographics of age are not noted.

3. There currently is no plan "proposed by Obama." The House and Senate bills have different authors, none of whom are the president.

4. Alternatively, one could say most Americans (54%) cannot say that they prefer the current health care system.

Granted, there are problems with almost all polls, but on this particular topic the flaws with the Fox News poll are fatal and render it useless. Having endured this long introduction... cue the pretty ladies:

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