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Poll shows support for Obamacare repeal, reporting spins instead

Friday, January 6, 2017 10:02
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After the newly sworn-in Senate voted last night in the first procedural move to pass a budget that (never balances but) repeals Obamacare, the news is awash in stories of agony and warning.

52 million people have preexisting conditions that wouldn’t be coverable without it! Even though no one wants to scrap preexisting coverage.

20 million people have gained insurance coverage under the law! Actually, most of them have been through Medicaid, a welfare program, not even subsidized exchange insurance.

And now a new poll seeks to add a clever spin to the anti-repeal campaign.

Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy and polling organization, has a new report out showing that 49% of adults support repeal of the law, while 47% oppose. It’s a close result that’s technically within the margin of error. But that’s not good enough for Kaiser, or the Huffington Post, which both reported the result differently.

Kaiser didn’t just ask about repeal or remain; they split the repeal vote into two factions – repeal now, or repeal after replacement announced. The result was not surprising: 28% want to repeal but wait until a new plan is ready, and only 20% want to repeal now and let the chips fall where they may.

First of all, when did 28 + 20 = 49? #CommonCore

Conveniently, the repeal opposition vote was not split into smaller factions. Other polls have split the left into groups who supported Obamacare as written and those who wantmore statist approaches, like the public coverage option, or universal public overage.

Kaiser’s own spin of the poll is made transparent by their own graphics. In their story about their tracking poll results, which include the repeal question among others, they use this graphic, showing the overall repeal/remain support and breakdowns, 3/4 of the way down the page:


But in their separate story about just the repeal question, they erase the “49% net” marker and only show the divisions.


HuffPo obviously uses the second graphic in their story as well. A total coincidence, I’m sure.

Here’s a better one:



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