Friday, August 21, 2009

Healthcare Polling, It’s All in the Words

Polls can certainly be a guide to the perceptions that people have about a person or a given subject, but they are certainly not perfect. Everyone knows that a poll can be constructed to support just about any idea, depending on the choice of wording. The recent polls on healthcare reform is absolutely no exception. Just take a look at some of the more popular polls on the subject in the past couple of months. Notice how the questions are asked and how it influences the numbers:

  • The NBC/WSJ Poll (June 2009) asked if it is important for people to have a "choice" between public and private healthcare options and 76 percent said that it was important to have that choice.
  • The NBC/WSJ Poll (August 2009) asked about a government plan that would "compete with private insurers" and just 43 percent supported such a plan.
  • The new Survey USA poll released yesterday used the same language as in the June NBC/WSJ poll and came up with almost the exact same results (actually it was a point higher). It found that 77 percent supported having the choice between a public option and a private health insurance plan.

ht: Daily Kos

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