Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fear Tactics May Be Turning Out to be a Hard Sell

There is a legitimate public policy debate to be had around Barack Obama's and the Democrats health care proposal. Someone could be taking the Republicans plan, even though they complain that Democrats are not considering it, and they could present it to the American people. There are many who believe that the sum and substance of the policy continues to allow the free market to treat health as a commodity, allowing the insurance companies to make off with billions of dollars while leaving anywhere near 37-50 million Americans uninsured or under insured. But, if there is real alternative Republican representation to be considered, then the country deserves to read about, hear about and support it or not.

Instead, we have been treated to a tragic theater of scare tactics: death panels, forced abortions, hysterical claims of socialism and rationed health care. The President of the United States has been demeaned and disrespected in the process. When pointed out that some of these attacks are race based, then cries of being unable to criticize a black president without charges of racism are unfair. (personally, I find it odd that all of these rallies, with the president depicted as Hitler, a socialist or a facist have almost no minorities among them, but, there you go).

Fortunately it looks as if the American pubic isn't buying what the extremists are selling.

"A majority of Americans believe many of the claims about health care legislation are distortions or "scare tactics," according to a new Bloomberg poll."

"Take the so-called "death panels" charge raised by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and others. The House bill calls for "advanced care planning consultations" that would reimburse doctors for talking with patients once every five years about end-of-life care. Sixty-three percent of those polled believe the "death panel" moniker is a distortion or scare tactic compared to 30 percent who said it is a legitimate criticism."

The news from the poll is not all rosy toward the Obama administration. For instance 52% believe that the country is on the wrong track.

Most (48%) are pessimistic about the governments health care plan and most (56%) are pessimistic about a plan being passed by the end of the year.

But, according to the poll Obama's 'net favorable' is 61% and his job approval rating is at 56%.

More to the point of health care, most of those polled believe characterize rationed health care, socialized medicine and government funded abortions as 'distortions and scare tactics'.

The entire poll can be seen here.
So if the distortions and scare tactics aren't working, will we now get down to real substantive policy debate? Or will the opposition just yell their claims louder?

Based on what we've seen so far, I suggest that you cover your ears...


Anonymous said...

Its kinda like this -find the right poll, and you can be comfortable.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday

shows that 32% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that

Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%)

Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating

of -8 (see trends). Thirty-five percent (35%) believe the U.S. is generally

heading in the right direction and investor confidence today reached the

highest level of 2009.

Forty-four percent (44%) now favor the President’s health care plan.

That’s unchanged from before the speech…and from July. Public opinion

on the issue appears to be hardening. A Rasmussen video report notes

that 53% of those with insurance believe they would be forced to change

coverage if the proposed health care reform is approved.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number

who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is

updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).

Updates also available on Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, 47% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the

President's performance. Fifty-two percent (52%) now disapprove. Over

the past week, the President’s ratings bounced to their highest level in

two months but have now retreated to earlier levels.

Gerald Britt said...

It does indeed depend on who does the poll, who is being polled, what questions are asked and how those questions are framed.

That being said, its safe to say that those who say 'the majority of Americans are against the president's plan' aren't basing that observation on all the data available.

Anonymous said...

Gerald, since you have access to all data available on the president, perhaps you could pass it along?