Articles and Analysis


US: National Survey (Kaiser 4/9-14)

Topics: poll

Kaiser Family Foundation
4/9-14/10; 1,208 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Kaiser: summary, fingings, toplines)



Kaiser's first health tracking survey since the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act finds a public both highly aware of the law's passage and confused about the ways upcoming changes will affect them personally. Majorities are aware of most of the major provisions of the new law, even as just over half say they don't yet have enough information to judge its overall impact on them. In general, views of the law and its potential benefits remain much as they were at the time of passage, with the public divided on the merits of the measure as a whole. Provisions that are set to be implemented this year, however, are decidedly more popular, most on a bipartisan basis. Americans are getting information about the new law from a variety of sources, but cable news tops the list of people's "most important" information sources.

Given what you know about the new health reform law, do you have a generally
favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?

46% Favorable, 40% Unfavorable (chart)



I wish you were right Kaiser, but Americans have throughout our history had to learn the hard way and listen to lies, misinformation and hearsay rather than the facts. It will be a long time before HCR will be viewed in most of the US as favorable.



So, in a poll of all adults, HCR is favored by 6%. In a poll of LV, it's disfavored by 6%. In the LV polls, repeal is slightly favored as well. I wonder how many of the members of "all adults" that are not "likely voters" 6 months before the election would vote if it meant blocking a repeal? Maybe most of those people are already in non-competitive strong D districts?



Doesn't Kaiser have a conflict of interest in this? Aren't they a pro-health reform organization? If so, is it a coincidence that their poll finds more favorable than unfavorable attitudes toward the bill?



These kaiser polls have been torn apart before. It's a push poll. First they give all the democrat talking points about individual items they claim are in the bill and then they ask if people approve or not. And even with all that manipulation, they were only able to get 46% to approve of it.

This poll also shows that 10% of the responsdents didn't know that the healthcare bill has been passed and that 9% say that is has not been passed? Are 19% of these respondents hermits living in caves? If so, what are they doing with phones?

The only value I can see in this poll is that it shows approval/disapproval of this monstrosity hasn't moved by more than a couple of points since January and that there was no bump in support after the bill passed. At least Kaiser has been conducting this push poll in a consistent manner.



This poll definitely has fair qustions. They aren't leading, terms are rotated to promote objectivity, etc. One thing that does not come out in the summary is that 23% really like the bill, 23% kind of like the bill, 10% kind of dislike the bill, and 30% hate the bill. So, the 46% and 40% sums aren't inaccurate, but they don't paint the full picture either.



Massive outlier poll.


Westwoodnc Westwoodnc:

Kaiser's last poll on this again showed a 46 "favorable" rating, so they've always been in the tank.


Field Marshal:

A majority of people probably approve of what's in the bill but a majority of people also disapprove of the bill due to its cost and government expansion.


Field Marshal:

You're right Gary, its a push poll since they didn't ask if they approved of the bill passing or overall in some way.



I imagine after HIR is fully implemented, most will approve, but I highly doubt these kind of numbers are correct now.




that doesn't make it a push poll, based on the definition of "push poll". A push poll is where you make assertions or otherwise provide information about some issue or person characterized or contexualized in a particular way designed specifically to sway opinion one way or another and then ask questions about that issue. Not asking specific questions don't make something a push poll. Telling survey respondents something and then asking questions do.

If you ask people if they approve or disapprove of A, B, C, etc. where each is an element of some bill (HCR, in this case) and then ask their feeling about the overall bill it's no different than what is asked in many other surveys I've seen, especially Fox ones where the preliminary questions tend to characterize behavior without making direct assertions. For example, a far more egregious way of conducting a survey, which I see done all the time by Fox (Opinion Dynamics); first ask a bunch of these kinds of questions and then general ones:

"Should America have a strong leader who deals from strength and doesn't coddle foreign countries or dazzle them with rock star atmospherics"

"Do you believe the best way to deal with Muslim Countries in the Middle East through negotiation or through the threat of force"

followed by:

"How do you feel about President Obama's handing of foreign policy?"

This is far worse than asking whether someone supports bans on pre-existing conditions and there rest. Those are actual features of the bill. And you're correct that it's the payment scheme that most people don't like; that and the fact that they think their own Medicare benefits will be reduced. But even the above example is not specifically a push poll, though it's teetering on the edge. A push poll would tell them

Do you know that the HCR bill doesn't increase the deficit according the the CBO; it actually decreases it.

Do you know that the HCR bill won't reduce your Medicare payments one dime,


and then ask your questions.

This is not what Kaiser did. Therefore, this was not a Push poll.


I find the question about what people know about the CBO analysis of the bill's effect on the deficit. If 45% of the people actually think that the CBO found that the deficit would increase (when in fact they found that the deficit would decrease), it would explain some other polls that recently found that a healthy majority think the law will increase the deficit. This is consistent with all the misinformation that is believed by the public.


I find the question about what people know about the CBO analysis of the bill's effect on the deficit interesting. If 45% of the people actually think that the CBO found that the deficit would increase (when in fact they found that the deficit would decrease), it would explain some other polls that recently found that a healthy majority think the law will increase the deficit. This is consistent with all the misinformation that is believed by the public.


I find the question about what people know about the CBO analysis of the bill's effect on the deficit interesting. If 45% of the people actually think that the CBO found that the deficit would increase (when in fact they found that the deficit would decrease), it would explain some other polls that recently found that a healthy majority think the law will increase the deficit. This is consistent with all the misinformation that is believed by the public.



I think it's just a visceral response... There's that intuitive idea that a new benefit means a new cost. That idea is solidified in peoples' mind before the concept of cost-cutting reforms offsetting and overall reducing deficit can form.



By your own definition, this is a push poll. Every one of those questions they first asked about individual components of the bill all stated claims made by the democrats about this law - most of which have no basis in reality.

"Prohibit insurers from denying coverage because of health status". We found out there are huge loopholes in that and children aren't even included. Kaiser is stating this is as if it is written in stone law.

"Expand the existing Medicaid program to cover more lower-income adults". Did they mention that this will almost certainly be thrown out in court because it is an unfunded mandate?

"independent Congressional Budget Office which analyzes the cost of legislation said the health reform law will". You can actually say with a straight face that this isn't a push question? It is designed to ask people to repeat what the CBO said which everyone knows is based on games, gimmicks, and manipulated figures. They didn't ask if this bill will add to the deficit. They asked if the CBO says this bill will add to the deficit. There is a huge difference between the two.

This poll is like putting a group of people in a room, running a 10 minute sales pitch for a car listing all of the good features, then taking a poll afterward to see how many people approve of the car.

Except in this case they made their sales pitch in the form of questions. The car sales pitch would be something like:

Did you know that when we were allowed to test this car on only downhill slopes that the EPA (an independent government agency) estimated this car would get 83 miles per gallon?

Did you know this car has the softest Corinthian leather seats in existence?

Were you aware that this car performed better in our privately funded crash tests than every other car we decided to test?

Did you know that we have designed this car to last for 375,000 miles?

Now, knowing what you do about this car, do you approve of it?



Well nothing surprises me when I learn just how uneducated and misinformed many people are about taxes, and deficits. What most people don't know is that we are taxed much lower now by the Federal government than we were in the early 80's under Ronald Reagan. Obama continues to promise that the other 95 percent will not have a tax increase. I know that Obama will keep the promises, yet state budgets continue to increase every year. It doesn't matter if they have a Republican or Democratic governor sometimes. In New York state, government waste expanded tremendously under Pataki, yet now he is campaigning against the fact that Obama care is unconstitutional, as he joins in the right wing flock. I nearly opened a bottle of champagne when I found out he wasn't running for senate.



Misinformation? Have you read the CBO report? You can see the gimmicks and games if you do. The CBO was forced to play the game by Congress's rules. The game was rigged.

The previous head of the CBO himself said that they had to score this the way it was presented - gimmicks and all. Had they left the gimmicks out, they would have shown that this bill ADDS at least $676 billion to the deficit and as much as $1.2 trillion if they don't make those as yet unspecified medicare cuts.

So I don't know what misinformation you are talking about unless it is that lie that this will reduce the deficit. That's the definition of misinformation.



Anytime you disagree with a liberal you are spreading misinfromation. Of course the HCR adds to the deifcit....no sane person actually thought it reduces the deficit. The gimmicks were obvious.

Why do you tink Dems are suddenly talking about the VAT? Because they have to pay for this new entitlement somehow....and what better way to do that than to squeeze the middle class even more....might as well take hwat little the middle class has left by turning on the VAT.

Break the peoples legs....then act as the hero when you give them a wheelchair. Thanks Mr. G'ment.



You aren't seriously comparing today's tax rates to what they were before the Reagan tax cuts passed, are you?

Do yourself a favor. Stop sipping the kool-aid for a few minutes and compare what your taxes are today compared to what they would have been after the Clinton tax increases. You can find the tax tables on the www.irs.gov website.

If you are in the middle class, you will see that they would have been at least 30% higher now without the Bush tax cuts. That's how high they'll be next year if Obama raises taxes by not extending the tax cuts. That's his plan. Taxes will go up for 100% of the people and will hurt the middle and lower income people the most.

That's why I don't think Obama much cares if the democrats lose congress this year. Then when a Republican congress tries to extend the tax cuts to protect the middle and lower income people, Obama will veto it because he will claim it only helps the rich.

And that claim that Obama kept his promise about not raising taxes on 95% of the people? I'm still laughing about that one. If you buy any gasoline, cigarettes, bandaids, tampons, or walking canes - Obama raised your taxes. I'll be willing to bet that at least 95% of the country buys at least one of these things.


This is not a push poll. By definition the whole point of a push poll is to change public opinion by contacting large numbers of people and giving them information that you hope will influence their opinion. This poll contacted only about 1400 people across the nation. This is not an attempt to change public opinion by using push poll techniques.

There are techniques for using the result of a poll to influence public opinion by using questions worded in such a way as to prejudice the result. Rasmussen uses the technique on occasion.

About the CBO. I have a feeling that those people who criticize the CBO don't do so when a CBO analysis reinforces their own beliefs. The CBO is the most impartial, rational group that weighs in on Congressional budget issues. Just about every other group seems to have some kind of ax to grind.




If you want to play semantics about push polls you are welcome to it. All right. Call this a contrived poll then. This poll was designed to first make the healthcare bill look positive and then ask if people approve of it. It is so obvious that I'm surprised someone would even try to defend it.

It doesn't matter how impartial and rational the CBO is. Congress set the rules for how they are allowed to score a bill. They were only allowed to work with the phony manipulation of taking money out of this bill and putting it into another, collecting 10 years of tax to pay for 6 years of spending, and they had to accept the ludicrous claim that the democrats would cut $500 billion from medicare in unspecified cuts.

If the CBO was allowed to score the entire budget both before and after this bill, they would show a $700 billion to $1.2 trillion deficit as a result of that bill. They'll never be allowed to do that because congress sets the rules and they would never allow that to happen.


Steven Guffey:

Oh what a painful net we weave
When liars we choose to believe.

Dear liberals,
Saying Americans have been lied to by conservatives about increasing deficits and taxes and "health care" is truly amazing. Not that conservatives never lie, but why lie when the truth works so well?

Here is an indicator: I noticed that after letting others release trial balloons by the dozens, Obama dipped his toe in the VAT yesterday. Gosh! I wonder why we need a VAT?

Look for an initial 5% with a promise to reduce some other taxes, followed over time by 20% VAT and higher taxes everywhere.

But what about the CBO estimates?

The CBO must evaluate budgets based on the information and assumptions the House gives them. In case of the health care reform, they were told to assume that the democrats really will cut Medicare by $500B, reduce massive waste in fraud in the system, and further reduce payments to doctors (they are already at a critically low level).

Never mind that the first would quickly unelect a massive number of democrats, and the second would be a disaster and was dropped even before the CBO made their projections. CBO had to make their projections on what they knew were falsehoods. So much for the long term effects on the deficits.

For the short term (i.e., 10 years), democrats based their "CBO" projections on 10 years of tax collections and 6 years of payouts. The Republicans did the same thing on the drug benefit they passed. Both were deceiving the public, but at least the drug bill was actually cheaper than projected on an true annual basis because it relied on competition in the private sector.

The health care bill will prove to be a vast underestimate because of budgetary deceptions used to pass it and because it will virtually eliminate real competition, leaving us all of the benefits and efficiencies of a politicised medical system.

A few weeks ago I read where FDR's "kitchen" cabinet knew that Social Security was a Ponzi scheme (and it always has been) and they fully expected it to go bankrupt some day, but not until long after they were gone. More dramatically, LBJ stated in interviews after it was passed that he had dramatically understated the future cost of Medicare so that it could be passed without damage to his party. He knew his party would soon increase eligibily well beyond old people, widows, and orphans -- one reason the costs continue to explode. Medicare will drown us all in a few years.

My argument here is not whether or not passing either SS or Medicare was wrong or whether either should be curtailed (we have no choice). I am saying that our politicians of both parties often deceive the public. In the case of the democrats, they have massive tacit help from liberal news media and academics.

The American public is remarkably not stupid as a group. They assume that politicans are lying to some degree ("Bush lied and people died"). Sadly, they are also well aware that the news media slants their coverage and emphases to help push the agenda they believe in, themselves

The American people, as a whole, are smarter than Obama, Bush, the Congress, and the liberal commenters here. Being not stupid, they give the new guy a chance, then gradually come to conclusions. In this case, they disbelieve Obama and liberal democrats more every week despite relentless PR from the liberal press.

Liberals have been frustrated as long as I can remember that the public is deeply skeptical of their version of the facts. It seems so stupid to liberals because they think the public is a sequestered jury that is not allowed to consider evidence in any way other than as directed by the liberal press and other liberals.

Wrong and wrong. They know when they are being deceived. In particular, the American public's assessment of taxes and deficits are far superior to the distortions you have chosen to believe.

Many in the public believe taxes and deficits will rise but don't really care that much. They will benefit since they are creatures of government largesse (academics, government employees, union members, welfare recipients, etc.)

However, those who know that they will pay the bills from Obama's free-spending ways are not so sanguine. They will accrue some benefits from some of Obama's reforms, but they will pay for nearly all of the costs for all of them. They know that the money Obama wants to spread around includes theirs, not just the top 1%.

They are not stupid enough to believe that the top 1% will pay the bill. As my elderly mother says: "Those that got, gets." The wealthy and politically connected do very well, thank you, whatever the nominal system claims.

Those who foot the bills know very well that the top 1% can evade taxes if given too much motivation to do so. Congress will have orgies of special interest amendments for every bill. Look at the big recipients of Wall Street largesse: Obama, Dodd, Schumer, etc.

Our public servants and their party are accelerating the drive to disaster. If anything, the public should be even more alarmed. That will come.


Field Marshal:


If you believe the original CBO report, i have some Enron and old GM stock i'd like to sell you.

The CBO is a good organization, but not infallible. In addition, they score the bill using the assumption given to them by the senator. The senator, Baucus, used assumptions like Doctors would take a 22% pay cut for Medicare patients and that level of pay would stay frozen for the next 20 years. How possible do you think that is?

It also double-counted the medicare 'savings' that will never occur in the first place!

So, yes, the misinformation is abundant, especially amongst those supporting the bill.



Well the fact is, liberals know the accounting is all screwed up and this entitlement is impossible to fund, BUT, they did it anyway because in there view its step one in taking america to single payer where HC is administered fully by the g'ment. Sinc ethe heart of liberalism is about controlling people...what better way to obtain that control then by controlling peoples healthcare? Hmmmm?

The VAT will nearly kill the middle class who are already haning by a thread in most cases. I want to see the Dems expalin to the family of 4 making 50k a year they they now have to spend an extra 5 or 10 or whatever it is percent on everything they buy....from tennish shoes for the kids to th bottle of tylenol when they get sick.

The VAT is just antoher way for liberals to break down the middle class....so that liberals can then extend the arm of g'ment to aid them in exchange of course for dependency....and votes.



Impossible like the rest of the world does it... yeah...


Field Marshal:

They do? Western Europe is the only place in the world that does it and they will be defunct in the next 25 years.

It is starting with Greece. Then on to Portugal and Spain. Then it will be Italy and Ireland and later on France, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries.

The morons in Greece were out striking because the prime minister raised the retirement age from 62 to 63. LOL. So funny.



This isn't the rest of the world. This is the USA - run by the most corrupt and spendthrift politicians on the planet.

The VAT plan I've heard batting around is to start it at 5%, but make sure that people who vote for democrats have some type of exemptions. Then they want it to have an automatic trigger raising the rate up to as high as 20% if the deficit doesn't come down.

It is a liberal wetdream. It will encourgage deficit spending. The more they spend, the higher this tax will go - and they won't even have to take a vote to raise taxes.



Steven Guffey:

"...They know when they are being deceived..."

heh, if so the public must be quite remarkable but probably needs to a logician or perhaps a psychiatrist!



A 20 percent VAT? Ho wthe hell is the middle class supposed to afford that? People are already carrying record levels of debt...a lot of people are haivnt o use credit cards just to pay bills...and now on hwat tiny bit of disposible income they have left, the Dems want to charge a 20 percent fee just to fund there power hungry crackpot dreams?

This is madness. Not only iwll this crush the already struggling middle class...its a jobs killer. Your talking about taking 20 percent of disposible income away from people....what the hell???????

At some point there better be a conservative that stands up and articulates why this tax and spend crap doe snot work...or we are going to find ourselves on the ass end of a one way rain to nowhere.

Sometimes I think there' sno way these liberals can be this stupid...so soemtimes I almsot think they do this on purpose. Do they hate this country so much they would rather see it reduced to 3rd world economic status so long as th ruling class gets to keep its power?



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