Crazy Cost of Obamacare Killing Chances for ‘Reform’
By: Warner Todd Huston
Polls. I am not a big believer in them. One of the biggest problems with polls are the questions. Poll questions are often practically useless in relaying any real, usable facts. Let’s take the first one asked by Charlie Gibson at the start of the Obama healthcare infomercial on ABC for example. He asked if everyone agreed with Obama that healthcare needed fixing. Naturally everyone said yes. But what does that question really mean?
Think about it. What does “needs fixing” mean? What sort of “change” are we talking about? It means many things to many different people. Some may want only minor changes, most on the left want a socialist system to entirely replace the one we have. Two great extremes that find common agreement that “change” is needed. But the question is nearly meaningless when considering what degree of change is on the table. It’s all a matter of individual perspective.
This is reflected by the polls in a major way because, while everyone seems to agree that “change” is needed, once it comes down to brass tacks, the largest number of Americans shy from pulling the trigger. And that trigger is paying for it through taxes. Oh, sure, everyone says “change” is good in these polls, but when it comes to “ME” paying for it, well, maybe we don’t need that much change after all, respondents say.
Whether she meant to or not, Amy Walter of The National Journal illustrates this point quite well in her June 24 piece headlined “Not in My Health Plan.”
It seems Amy meant to help lawmakers push socialist healthcare on us all as opposed to showing why it might go over like a lead ballon, but whatever her goal, she does show that Americans have been sold a bill of goods with this whole deal.
The fact is, most Americans seem quite happy with their own healthcare but have been lulled into thinking that the whole system is in meltdown and that government needs to rush in to “fix” things anyway. On top of that few Americans want to pay higher taxes to fix the system even if they do think it is broken. The later leads me to believe that more Americans than not realize that government will make matters far worse as opposed to fixing anything because if they were happy to see government rush in to solve problems, they wouldn’t mind paying for it to happen.
For instance, looking over the polls, Walter finds this:
Finally, people are much more satisfied with their own care than they are with the country’s overall. In the Kaiser poll, a majority (52 percent) say that their family would either be worse off or unaffected by any health care reform. Yet 57 percent think that the country would be better off if Congress passed health care reform.
So Americans seem to be saying, “I’m fine and happy, but everyone else is miserable.” This is a logical disconnect that tends to show that most Americans are not in crisis with their medical care but have been fooled into believing that their neighbors are.
It’s from the chicken little media and their leader in the Oval Office trying to scare everyone into imagining we are in a crisis so immediate that lengthy deliberations are “killing” us all.
Walter also found that people are loathe to pay for Obamacare’s exorbitant costs.
But when asked if they’d be willing to pay more in taxes, either on their current health care plan or in general, respondents quickly pull back. Just 33 percent agreed with the idea of taxing health care benefits for those with “generous” plans. The Diageo/Hotline poll found just 26 percent of voters supported a tax on health care plans. And a Kaiser poll reported that only 41 percent of Americans were willing to pay more either in taxes or health care premiums to cover the uninsured.
It makes sense that people don’t want to pay more in taxes for something they already have and are happy with.
Now, there really is no doubt that our healthcare is not running smoothly. But it is not an “emergency” situation. We need not rush to Obamacare without due deliberations and further we should stop all the scaremongering coming out of the White House and the media.