Yahoo misses as ‘Mythbusters’

posted at 1:40 pm on August 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

I have to admit, I’m a bit puzzled by the Yahoo/Live Science report on polling on ObamaCare issues that Barack Obama calls “myths”.  I get the idea that they want to see how Obama’s pushback will sell with the American people, but it also presents a good opportunity to do some actual reporting and determine whether Obama is telling myths of his own.  Instead, the article blithely accepts Obama’s characterization, using scare quotes around the word myth as its only acknowledgment of dispute.

As it is, the headline notes that Obama hasn’t had much success in convincing the majority of Americans that these are myths at all:

  • 67 percent of respondents believe that wait times for health care services, such as surgery, will increase (91 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Independents).
  • About five out of 10 believe the federal government will become directly involved in making personal health care decisions (80 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Independents).
  • Roughly six out of 10 Americans believe taxpayers will be required to pay for abortions (78 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents)
  • 46 percent believe reforms will result in health care coverage for all illegal immigrants (66 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Independents).
  • 54 percent believe the public option will increase premiums for Americans with private health insurance (78 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents).
  • Five out of 10 think cuts will be made to Medicare in order to cover more Americans (66 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of Independents).

In order of their appearance, let’s do a little mythbusting ourselves:

  • Wait times – Arguable. As government controls more and more of the payment decisions, resources could become more scarce and wait times may increase as a result.  That certainly has been the experience in Canada and the UK, two systems which Obama lauds as models for rational health-care delivery.  Wait times and accessibility have gotten so bad in Canada that the state-run system has had to contract with private-sector providers in the US to alleviate the problem (and to avoid the political consequences of it).
  • Government will get directly involved in health-care decisions – Reality.  What do people think Obama means when he says the new system will prevent Tonsil Vultures and Foot Rustlers from enriching themselves at our expense?  The ObamaCare initiative explicitly calls for comparative-effectiveness management of treatment, which means that government will seek to influence treatment … and non-treatment.  “Maybe she should just take a painkiller” is an explicit call for government involvement in those decisions.
  • Tax money for abortions – Reality.  Even the Annenberg folks admit that.
  • Health care coverage for illegal immigrants – Myth, at the moment.  The House bill currently has a restriction on federal funding for “undocumented aliens” (Section 246): “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”
  • Public option will increase premiums – Reality.  In fact, the entire idea of the exchanges is to force insurers to meet a standard of coverage that some plans do not now supply, for various reasons.  That will force premiums up across the board, especially if “community rating” rules get applied.  Maine’s DirigoChoice boondoggle proved this rather clearly.
  • Medicare cuts to finance ObamaCare – Reality.  In fact, Obama himself proposed $313 billion in Medicare cuts, including the virtual elimination of Medicare Advantage.  How anyone can call this a “myth” even in scare quotes is beyond me.

Instead of clucking their tongues at how Americans buy into ObamaCare myths, perhaps the media might start looking at how the American people have begun to see through the myth of ObamaCare.  The polling suggests that the scales have begun to fall to the roadside.

Update: Heritage disagrees with me on illegal immigrant coverage being a myth.  They argue that the bill does not provide for enforcement of Section 246, which is a good point — but it doesn’t really provide for any explicit enforcement of its myriad provisions, using that metric.  The bill does explicitly disallow coverage for illegal immigrants, which gives the basis for enforcement, assuming it survives to the final version.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

So, are the Democrat poll respondents lying, or do they really believe that the bill won’t provide abortion funding?

It occurs to me that it must be really hard to continuously deceive the middle and right of America while not accidentally misleading the left.

hawksruleva on August 25, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Speaking of Yahoo right now on their home page-

“Half of US Population Could Get Swine Flu”. Link then goes on to say “Up to 90,000 Americans could die from the swine flu this fall and winter, the CDC warns.”

Which replaced the headline until 12:30PM:

“Best Cities to Find a Job” – which they have run 47 times in the past 3 months…

I hope they dont spend too much time wondering what has happened to their market share, ad rates and click through traffic over the past 5 years…

Odie1941 on August 25, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Live Science blog should change it name to something like”Live Pop Culture”.I read it quite often,and have to say it isn’t very scientific,as this article demonstates.
Why would a scientific organization take on such an idiotic study?”How many people believe in what some other people call myths”,doesn’t make sense as a subject for scientific research.Except,of course, to a Liberal.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you can’t buy more with less,or that because illegals are not specifically mentioned as being eligible,that their heath care will not be covered.
Just like the “death panels”.They weren’t explicitly included in the bill,but they weren’t explicitly excluded either.

DDT on August 25, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Funny Jimboob3. You think Ed is wrong, but utterly fail to point to evidense in your arguement. Others here quote chapter and verse from proposed bills; you do not.

Throwing in a gratuitous attack on Sarah Palin is nothing but trollism.

You have just joined the list of posters whose drivel I pass over on any thread. Ciao, jerk.

BillyGoatGruff on August 25, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Yahoo Google

Gee, it sounds like the 2008 general election.

Flying Betsy Ross

Caststeel on August 25, 2009 at 3:48 PM

How about something from the National Right to Life: http://www.nrlc.org/press_releases_new/Release081909.html?

Even they are not claiming that tax dollars will be used to directly pay for abortions–only that “federal funds” will be.

As for trollism, it was a gratuitous insult, but many people here are as in awe of Palin as some Democrats were in awe of Obama. Sarah will not get elected because many people do think she is white trash. Why do you think she polls dead last in the general election among the top three GOPs?

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Yahoo is disappointingly Liberal and food obsessed. Any major news story on the Nation is either given a Liberal wash or is omitted. Unemployment numbers? Yahoo reports that they are getting better, then at the bottom of the story admits that they are still down. Tea Parties? Concentrates its coverage to “controversy” and never reports the numbers. Obama stumbles badly and you get a story on diets, or a whale that washes up on the beach in Borneo, or how many hot dogs the worlds greatest eater put down in 10 min.

Blacks are constantly featured in mixed marriages in Yahoos! set up pictures yet these remain some of the rarest of relationships and the black illegitimacy rate is at 70%. Black crime is never mentioned (For example the first of the Knoxville Horror perpetrators has been found guilty today, but viewing Yahoo news you would never even know about the crime) or is in the context of a rapper or celebrity. It must be considered the “cotton candy” of news sites.

GunRunner on August 25, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Health care coverage for illegal immigrants – Myth, at the moment.

No, because what you failed to mention is they didn’t bother to put any checks in the bill to ensure this. While it is nice to say you won’t cover illegal ALIENS, what does that matter if you don’t bother to check their status to ensure this? This is the same thing as allowing it.

JeffinSac on August 25, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Sarah will not get elected because many people do think she is white trash. Why do you think she polls dead last in the general election among the top three GOPs?

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 3:56 PM

brilliant analysis from a somehow Unrecognized Genius.

Keep tossing out gems like ‘white trash’. That really impresses people and makes them realize your awesome mental abilities

Janos Hunyadi on August 25, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Ed,

I understand you are trying to be reasonable here, and I agree the version of the health care bill you mention specifically mentions illegal immigrants will not be covered. However, illegal immigrants get government services now that they are not legally allowed too. So, unless the bill specifically includes enforcement and verification options, it is not unreasonable to conclude that they will also receive free health care services from the government if a health care “reform” bill eventually passes.

In addition don’t forget that, like Bush, Obama wants to grant illegal immigrants citizenship and, if that happens, they will not be illegal anymore and will eligible no matter what the bill says. Bottom line, no matter what the bill says, it is definitely the intent of Obama and the Democrats in Congress that illegal immigrants will somehow get free health care under this bill. Either by not enforcing the part of the bill restricting them, which they have already shown is their intent by voting down verification requirements, or by granting them citizenship after the bill has passed.

Rocket-Man on August 25, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Even they are not claiming that tax dollars will be used to directly pay for abortions–only that “federal funds” will be.

???

Right. And at my house, I’m not worried about a bread shortage because we always eat toast.

somewhatconcerned on August 25, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Obama rejects your reality, and substitutes his own.

ZK on August 25, 2009 at 4:47 PM

BLINDED BY IDENTITY. If a Demobrat likes Obama, he will not believe any of the negatives about his proposals, period. You cannot persuade these people, you simply must overpower them with votes.

leftnomore on August 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM

If there is no requirement that immigration status be tested as part of enrollment the program will be flooded by illegal immigrants. Over the years, there may be a handful of them who are found to be illegal, and MAYBE they will get booted, but this percent will be vanishingly small.

If I were living abroad and my daughter needed health care, I’d pack her up and bring her to the US and put her on my subsidized or free policy. What parent wouldn’t? And if a year later, after the megabuck diagnostic workup and operations someone figured out she wasn’t supposed to get benefits so what? What’s my down side?

This has the potential to create an enourmous drain on system resources. It ought not be lightly dismissed.

DaMav on August 25, 2009 at 6:08 PM

The bill does explicitly disallow coverage for illegal immigrants, which gives the basis for enforcement, assuming it survives to the final version.

Do we not currently provide numerous benefits for illegal immigrants which, which is contrary to law, because there are numerous laws and regulations which proscribe enforcement?

burt on August 25, 2009 at 6:27 PM

The illegal immigrant coverage is a myth, by this time next year, amnesty will eliminate the term “illegal immigrant”.

0Derf on August 25, 2009 at 7:04 PM

The corporate pigs are definitely lining up at the trough. Wonder if they realize it’s set up just outside the People’s Democratic State Agricultural and Husbandry Kommissariat Processing Plant?

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 25, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Even they are not claiming that tax dollars will be used to directly pay for abortions–only that “federal funds” will be.

Because only 20% of federal funds are from tax revenues because the Chinese keep buying our bad loans or what?

Do you, perchance, read, subscribe to, or listen to anything by Alex Jones? Cos you sound a bit guano-non-compos-mentis here.

fronclynne on August 25, 2009 at 9:21 PM

Because the federal funds come from premium payments, not taxes.

Who is Alex Jones?

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 10:05 PM

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 10:05 PM

Because the federal funds come from premium payments, not taxes.

If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

fronclynne on August 25, 2009 at 10:18 PM

5, but what’s your point? If you buy stamps at a post office, are you paying for the stamps or taxes? If you pay premiums for insurance, are you paying for insurance or taxes?

Jimbo3 on August 26, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Ed needs to talk to Michelle, because she highlighted the fact that illegals would be covered, so you need to update the “myth” part. :-)

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/08/26/obamacare-for-illegal-aliens-revisited/

JeffinSac on August 26, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Comment pages: 1 2