ACA - MAJORITY of Americans FAVOR OBAMACARE ... Or Something More Liberal !! [225*8]

THERE! I SAID IT AND I AM STICKING TO IT, with the help of the latest CNN/ORC poll on the Affordable Care Act. And, yes, it is the same poll with the media, be it CNN or Drudge, and politicians (mainly Republicans) cite with they report just the opposite results ... that most Americans Oppose Obamacare?? Interesting, opposing views from the same survey, how can this be? Simple, it is all in how you "ask" and "report" the question.

You see, paraphrased, the question asked was "Do you 'Favor' or 'Oppose' Obamacare?" Pretty straight-forward it would seem, don't you think? And it is ... until you read the responses and it immediately gets very cloudy. The reason is one of the responses can be interpreted in two ways, 1) opposing THIS particular healthcare reform bill or 2) favoring a more liberal law than the one passed, just not this one in its current form.

The Right and the Media just take the word Oppose (because it isn't liberal enough) without interpreting its meaning, the first possibility. People like me, as former statisticians, and those on the Left take the second meaning; which leads to an entirely different set of results than the ones reported in the mainstream (or otherwise) media; you know, that organization which has great influence on what we take as "truth".

DETAIL IS THE KEY TO TRUE UNDERSTANDING!

I HAVE ACTUALLY WRITTEN ABOUT THIS in another Hub, but it was part of a larger whole. In this Hub, I focus only on the Affordable Care Act survey numbers and how the media OUGHT to be interpreting them for you given that it is not common for those who are not Meyers-Briggs _NTPs or _NTJs (if you look it up, or visit my other hubs on Meyers-Briggs, you will see why).

The CNN/ORC survey, conducted between Dec 16 and 19, asked four Obamacare questions with the first two being related:

  1. Q.21 As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country's health care system became law in 2010. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?
  2. Q.22 Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal or because you think it is not liberal enough?
  3. Q 23: From what you know of that legislation, do you think you and your family will, in general, be better off, worse off, or about the same when the provisions of the health care law take effect next year?
  4. Q 24: From what you know of that legislation, do you think you and members of your family will or will not be able to receive care from the same doctors you see now?

What the media and those who oppose Obamacare have done is trumpet the results of Q 21 WITHOUT taking into consideration the results of the "real" questing which is Q22!! Then that is done, you get the "misleading" results that have been splashed all over the headlines as 35% of American's support the ACA while 58% oppose it. Therefore, the Right trumpets, "all" Americans hate healthcare reform and especially Obamacare as it is written. Their solution is to dump it and go back to the way that worked so well for so many years.

Of course, us NTs know that is a lie. We know it's a lie because we looked at the results of Q 22. When asked if you "oppose" ACA because it "isn't liberal enough" you are actually asking if you think the ACA ought to be made even more robust than it already is, you are saying that Obamacare is "too weak" as it stands right now. That is NOT the same things as saying you oppose Obamacare because it is "too liberal", When read this way, then the "isn't liberal enough" becomes a "Pro Healthcare" result and you can "rightly" say that 50% of American's FAVOR Obamacare or something more liberal and only 43% actually oppose ACA because it is too liberal; quite a switch in perception, would you say.

Next let me offer a more realistic look at the results of CNN's latest survey, the news they should have reported.

THE BASIC FACTS

GENERAL POPULATION
REPORTED FAVOR/OPPOSE RESULTS
RESULTS BASED ON WHO FAVORS REFORM AND THOSE WHO DON'T
FAVOR
35%
50%
OPPOSE
48%
43%
NOT SURE
8%
8%
TABLE 1

THE REAL NUMBERS

OBAMACARE IS
TOTAL
TOO LIBERAL
JUST RIGHT
NOT LIBERAL ENOUGH
FAVOR REFORM
50%
 
35%
15%
OPPOSE REFORM
43%
43%
 
 
NOT SURE
8%
 
 
 
TABLE 2

So. who wants to argue that the surveys show most Americans actually WANT some sort of healthcare reform? Why isn't the news media presenting the information in this manner? They have had years of opportunity for it has always been this way!

Sep 2013 was the worse poll with only 49% favoring reform, 39% opposing it, and 13% undecided. If you go back to Mar 2010, the results are still about the same with 52% for, 43% against, and 5% undecided.

Let me know, please, if there is any other way to interpret this data once you know the story behind the misleading top line.

The CNN/ORC poll asked a lot of demographic questions so as to better understand what is driving the results. I want to discuss some of them in this Hub to dig into what lies at the heart of what you observe. Let's start by considering gender.

WHAT DO MEN AND WOMEN THINK?

 
MEN
WOMEN
TOO LIBERAL
48%
37%
JUST RIGHT OR NOT LIBERAL ENOUGH
47%
53%
UNDECIDED
5%
10%
TABLE 3

NOW WE CAN START DISCERNING DISTINCT DIFFERENCES in who is for and against healthcare reform. Just a quick glance at Table 3 tells you it is men who are most against healthcare reform; by a sizable margin. This would be expected, I would think since women are the caregivers in our society and more sensitive to the needs of others.

What about Race? Now the difference is going to be significantly starker as you will see in Table 4.

WHAT ABOUT RACE?

 
WHITE
NON-WHITE
TOO LIBERAL
55%
17%
ABOUT RIGHT or NOT LIBERAL ENOUGH
38%
75%
UNDECIDED
7%
8%
TABLE 4

CAN YOU TELL, USING TABLES 3 AND 4, WHO IS DRIVING THE 43% OPPOSED to reform? If you say white males, you would be right. It goes without say that those most likely to not have health insurance would be the same ones who would support healthcare reform while the reverse would also be true. Given white men are the most insured with white women coming in second, to believe they would be naturally inclined to support reform would be foolish.

How does Party affiliation and political leaning enter into the mix?

 
DEM
IND
REP
LIB
MOD
CON
TOO LIBERAL
13%
46%
78%
12%
36%
68%
ABOUT RIGHT or NOT LIBERAL ENOUGH
78%
46%
16%
78%
55%
28%
UNDECIDED
9%
8%
6%
10%
9%
4%
TABLE 5

YOU CAN REASONABLY CONCLUDE THE FOLLOWING FROM the information in the previous five tables: 1) The first, which is a bit off the subject but becomes obvious when looking at Table 5, taking into account Table 2. And that is self-described Independents lean to the Right and self-described Moderates lean to the Left. We think of Democrats as liberals and Republicans, Conservative. One would think then that Independents would be associated with Moderates; but as we just saw, that isn't necessarily true. What do you make of that? 2) The other is that those who so vociferously and bitterly oppose health reform ar white, male Conservatives, the exact cohort which is the core of today's Republican Party.

Other interesting results regarding this question are:

  • 59% of those earning under $50,000 prefer healthcare reform compared to 43% for those more well off
  • Attending college did not increase or decrease the preference for healthcare reform, it was 50% in both cases
  • The only age group where those who oppose healthcare reform roughly equals those who support it is between 35 and 49. It should be noted that the plurality of those 65 and over actually oppose healthcare reform; how much of that opinion has to do with Republican propaganda regarding the harm Obamacare will allegedly do to Medicare which is what covers this age group.
  • Opposition to reform is highest in the West at 47%, as well as suburban and rural areas at 48% each. Considering the conservative political orientation and concentration of Whites in these areas, those results are understandable.
  • Finally, what you feel about the Tea Party plays a large role in your support of opposition of healthcare reform. If you support the Tea Party, then there is a 75% chance you oppose reform, while if you oppose the Tea Party, then the chance you oppose reform drops to 15%. That statistic, by itself, is extremely telling about the worldview of the Tea Party members!

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?

Do you consider the current healthcare reform legislation (Obamacare)

See results without voting

ARE YOU BETTER OFF?

THE NEXT QUESTION, Q 23, IS ARE YOU BETTER OFF with the new legislation rather than what was in place prior to Obamacare? The possible answers are "No", "Yes", "About the Same". and "Not Sure". For purposes of this discussion, I will combine "Yes" and "About the Same" because the rhetoric being flung around today is that the ACA is going to be a disaster and will make things much worse than what they used to be.

When you peruse the following tables you should come away convinced that it just ain't so; that by and large, Americans do not see Obamacare as an abomination now nor in the future. For example,

WITH WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT OBAMACARE, DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE

 
MEN
WOMEN
WHITE
BLACK
BETTER OFF OR ABOUT THE SAME
55%
57%
47%
76%
WORSE OFF
43%
41%
52%
22%
NOT SURE YET
2%
2%
2%
3%
TABLE 6

WHAT STANDS OUT IN THIS SURVEY is the disparity in who thinks their lives won't change or will get better with Obamacare. Men, Women, and non-Whites all feel fairly to very strongly a neutral or positive is not a bad thing. Only Whites feel the opposite! Why is that?

Well, consider who constitutes the vast majority of Republicans, Conservatives, and Teal Party members .... white males. Then know that 70%, 63%, and 70%, respectively, believe they will be Worse Off, under ACA. Compare that with a disapproval rate of between 19% and 45% for all other groups. It is easy to conclude, therefore, that most of those who make up the White disapproval rating are Conservative Republican Tea Party supporters; the rest of America believes just the opposite although you wouldn't assume that from the news media reports and Republican rhetoric.

Other tidbits on who thinks not much will change or even get better are:

  • All age groups except 35-49 and 65+, who's Better-Not Better states are 51%-49% and 49%-50%, respectively
  • Income under $50k vs over $50k: 61%/36% and 53%-46%, respectively
  • Didn't attend college vs those that did: 53%/44% and 58%/41%, respectively.
  • Only in the Midwest, South, and rural regions do positive ratings drop; to 50%, 49% and 47%, respectively.

FOR BETTER OR WORSE

Do You Think You and/or Your Family Will Be Better-off With a Fully Functional Affordable Care Act

See results without voting

WILL YOU BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR DOCTOR?

CONSERVATIVES MADE GREAT HAY regarding the poetic license President Obama took in trying to assure American's that ACA was not designed to prevent you from seeing the doctor you are used to seeing. Any intelligent person without an agenda would know that, or similar, utterances cannot be ironclad; just like they know that any advertisement they see or hear for a commercial product is likewise hyped up to some degree. To complain that Obama lied is simply being political, disingenuous, and probably hypocritical.

The vast majority of Americans seem to think so as well given that all demographic groups, except Republicans and Conservatives think they can keep their own doctor under Obamacare.

Table 7 reflects this notion.

YES, I CAN KEEP MY DOCTOR

 
MEN
WOMEN
WHITE
NON-WHITE
KEEP MY DOCTOR
61%
61%
55%
73%
LOSE MY DOCTOR
35%
36%
40%
25%
NO OPINION
4%
3%
4%
2%
TABLE 761%

I WISH ONE OF THE CHOICES HAD BEEN, "DON'T CARE IF I KEEP MY OWN DOCTOR", but it wasn't (I will cure that with my own poll). But, as you can clearly see, the percentage of Americans who don't buy into the "can't keep your doctor" litany is virtually everybody who isn't Republican and/or Conservative. Even with the latter cohort, a bare majority/plurality, 51% and 48%, respectively, believe thay can't keep their own doctor; an extremely surprising statistic.

KEEPING YOUR DOCTOR

Do You Think You Will Be Able to Keep Your Doctor Once the ACA Is Fully Functional?

See results without voting

SO, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

PERSONALLY. I THINK OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS are getting worried about something close to nothing. Consider these two statistics:

1) Americans who identify themselves as conservative or very conservative constitute 41%, as of a Gallup poll conducted in May 2013; the same poll suggest that 37% are moderate; while that vile group of liberals who are out to destroy America, and doing a very effective job of it, according to the Right, amount to a whole 16%; and

2) Those who identify themselves as Republican or Republican leaning make up 42% of Americans in the latest Dec 2013 Gallup poll.

In reconciling those statistics with the ones in Tables 1 through 7, one can easily discern that approval of healthcare reform is ideologically-based rather than a general belief amongst Americans. As conservatism declines in America, approval of ACA will increase.

REALITY SURVEY #1

Did You Purchase Insurance Through the State or Federal Insurance Exchanges

See results without voting

REALITY SURVEY #2

IF YOU BOUGHT THROUGH AN INSURANCE EXCHANGE, Did you do it because ...

See results without voting

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #1

Politically, do you lean

See results without voting

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #2

Are You

See results without voting

© 2013 My Esoteric

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22 comments

HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

The bottom line, My Esoteric, is that the Republican smear machine is, as always, in much higher gear than their Democratic counterparts. 1.1 million have already signed up and the pace is accelerating. The Obama Administration hurt themselves with the lame website rollout. Things are now rolling much better even in the face of diabolical opposition in Republican states. The Democrats are winning this argument even as they fret. Excellent hub, My Esoteric.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks HS.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thanks for another excellent, easy to understand breakdown of the political and social realities we all grapple with. You do great work and you do it well. Hope you have a Blessed New Year! Theresa


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you so much,Theresa. You have wonderful year as well.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Yes, very well analyzed and written. I believe the majority of Americans want Obamacare otherwise Obama would not have won reection. The Republicans do not face reality. Your breakdown and explanations are very good and I believe most would agree with you. Well done!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you as well, @Suzettenaples and yes, there is that, isn't there, Obama won handily. I appreciate you reading this rather dry material and, hopefully, voting.

The more I think about what I presented, the more surprised I am 1) how poor a job the opposition's propaganda machine is working (they appear to be preaching to the choir) , 2) how poor a job the mainstream news is doing in reporting the "real" story, rather than the headlines, and 3) how perceptive the American people are despite the onslaught of dis- or misinformation.


cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

I've always been a firm believer that the GAP ain't stupid. (GAP = General American Public) Sharing this to my Facebook health page.

https://www.facebook.com/BeInsuranceSMART


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I appreciate the sharing, thanks @cmoneyspinner, That is a new use for GAP, I knew it as General Accounting Principals.


cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

Everybody always talking about the GOP. Just changed one letter. :)

Happy New Year My Esoteric!! Please continue to keep US informed.


Nathan Orf profile image

Nathan Orf 2 years ago from Virginia

Great hub, My Esoteric! To me, this is yet another example of what is either the ineptitude of mainstream media, or of its bias in favor of the Right. I honestly cannot say which of those is the actual reason for the News Media's lousy reporting, but the effect is the same; a largely uninformed public, and an immature level of public discourse.

Liberal Media? Please.


daughterson profile image

daughterson 2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Brilliant!! As the British would say what a great article. The smear machine has no regard for the truth and their lies are not exposed like they should be. And even when some lies are proven wrong there are those who choose to believe any garbage that comes their way that is negative Obama. Often these Obama haters vote against their own interest. Obama care maintains the private health insurance industry -- why would republicans be against that! Oh, I forgot, Obama did it.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you @Nathan and @Daughterson for sharing your thoughts, I do appreciate it. Both of you are right on other than I do think the mainstream media is actually bias to the Left (Fox and MSNBC cancel each other out) a bit while the Internet and radio media is hard Right. What overcomes mainstream medias bias, however, is the fact that the News is no longer about informing the public but increasing the bottom line and sensational, misleading headlines increase the bottom line; this includes CNN. The only outlet that I find fair in their coverage is POTUS on Sirius/XM.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

Great interpretation of the Gallup Poll. I should have known that you are a statistician from some of your former hubs. I think that many people are changing their minds in favor of the ACA (Obamacare) once they see that it isn’t the pariah that the Tea Party conservatives in the Republican Party led them to believe. I think as time goes on, the polls will become more favorable. What isn’t favorable is that now everyone seems to be paying more and getting less, including those on Medicare.

You asked for an answer as to why the media are presenting a misinterpretation of the poll, and I can give you one answer. I think it is ineptitude, not deliberate. I think most media personnel are not well trained in statistics. I have two degrees in journalism, and for my masters I hold 6 credit hours in statistics, however, the training was inadequate. I just have to take your word for it. How many other journalists are untrained, or have little training in statistics, I don’t know, but most of them give you a blank look when the word “statistics” is used in their presence. they are probably just quoting the "experts" to the left or right in their employment. I’m sure that’s not the only answer to your question, but it is one possibility.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

So much for "investigative" reporting, eh @MizBejabbers? Thank you for your insights.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 2 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

This is extremely well "argued" and way too "fair." Would never make it in mainstream media! I disagree somewhat with MizBejabbers. While ineptitude is rampant in what passes for journalism today, I believe the misleading reporting is deliberate.

I wonder what the polls would show if they substituted "Affordable Care Act" or "health reform" for the word Obamacare. I bet even more people are in favor of it than this shows!

The rabid right coined the term Obamacare as invective and to rile up their ignorant base (death panels, anyone?). Despite his late attempts to claim the brand... it's still got a negative connotation. Which is being fed hourly by the great spin machine of Rush & Co.

I will be interested to see how the numbers look 6 months or a year from now.

Meantime, I would dearly love to know what alternative plans the GOP has. Randcare? Rubiocare? Cruzcare? *gagging*


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

@MightyMom, I appreciate you jumping in with your thoughts. Polls do show exactly what you suggest, change the wording to ACA and the results do improve. However, most major polls, Fox included, do use Affordable Care Act in their wording rather than Obamacare.

I have thought for a long time that Obamacare will work and even though the term started out as a pejorative, it will turn out to be an accolade when it does. Even Obama picked up on that theme in a speech a few months ago.

As to an alternative, they have none other than to return to what was and screw millions more people in the process, which seems their penchant.

Right now with not extending unemployment, they have, to date, taken $3.4 billion out of the hands of business and force 2 million people, so far (it keeps growing daily), deeper into poverty and by not jumping on-board with the $10.10 minimum wage (which I oppose in favor of an expanded EITC) they keep 900,000 people in poverty who would otherwise be able to work their way out of it.


bradmaster 2 years ago

My Esoteric

Statistics are not facts, and neither are polls.

What do you make of the poll that has four out of five doctors recommend brand x?

First, were there more than five doctors

Second, what was there medical expertise

Third, had they used other brands, and were they given free samples of brand x

Fourth, the questions go on an on, but we only have the original statement without any other information.

No one has ever polled me, about anything.

I find that poll results are used by the majority of people that don't have solid opinions themselves. They would rather be in the majority, than have their own opinion.

That is my reason for why polls seem to be accurate. It actually makes an opinion, than takes an opinion.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

When you get down to it, nothing is fact unless you know exactly what the context is. 1 + 1 = 2 is not a fact, do you agree?

But you are correct, statistics are not facts (see, we agree again), but statistics, properly done, can suggest what is probably true. Polls are a fact, for the people who were polled. But is only an estimate of the larger population from which the sample was drawn from (one of my degrees is in statistics, btw) Depending on the sample size and the kind of question being asked, then a probability range can be built around the result. Further, that result is only good for the day the sample was drawn. The further away you get from that date or the smaller the sample, the wider the margin for error.

That being said, intelligently conducted polls used intelligently can tell you quite a bit about what people are feeling. Used intelligently, like in your Dr example, then you generally end up with a lie.

I've been polled a few times, but belong to YouGov.com now where I am sent a lot of polls.


bradmaster 2 years ago

My Esoteric

I think there is enough agreement here that shows we have some common ground.

Thanks

bradmaster


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

My Esoteric

I was so excited about are agreements that I forgot to finish my comments.

First, adding 32 million people to the health insurance rolls doesn't improve the quality of healthcare, which in my experience is pathetic.

Second, ACA doesn't stop health insurance companies from practicing medicine by limiting treatment against the recommendation of your doctor. Many people have found that their current health insurance plan doesn't meet the ACA standard. They are then forced into a new plan, where in most cases the coverages are less, and the cost is higher than their original plan. This has a negative impact those people that are fighting cancer and other deadly diseases. Their new plan might not cover their doctor, or their current treatments.

Third, the whole idea of putting prescription drugs into a separate plan needed to be changed, but ACA does nothing. Most of the drugs prescribed by doctors are the result of visiting your doctor. Without that prescription for drugs that office visit would be useless.

When you go to the hospital the drugs received there are covered under the hospital plan. Clearly this should be the case, as well outside the hospital. This is one area of reform that should have happened, but didn't under the ACA.

Fourth, the FDA needs to be rethought, as it is clear that many promising drugs could and should be used for terminal diseases that have no cure, or treatment under their current guidelines. Terminal patients or people with deadly diseases should have every option to choose their own destiny. Even the FDA approved drugs have major serious and deadly side effects. Yet, the drug companies and not the FDA are held responsible for their malfunction. The FDA doesn't have any independent test facilities, and they use the data provided by the drug companies, and it still costs about $800 million to get FDA approval.

Thanks

bradmaster


bradmaster 2 years ago

just checking in, no problem.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 21 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

BMOC - "First, adding 32 million people to the health insurance rolls doesn't improve the quality of healthcare, ..."

ME - Nobody says it does. There are, however, other aspects of ACA that does.

BMOC - "Second, ACA doesn't stop health insurance companies from practicing medicine by limiting treatment against the recommendation of your doctor ..."

ME - Yes it does, at least to the degree these are ACA required treatment.

BMOC - "... Many [some] people have found that their current health insurance plan doesn't meet the ACA standard. They are then forced into a new plan, where in most cases the coverages are less, and the cost is higher than their original plan.

ME - By definition this is not true relative to less coverage. What plans were cancelled resulting from not meeting ACA standards meant they were deficient; not that they contained more coverage than needed.

BMOC - "Third, the whole idea of putting prescription drugs into a separate plan needed to be changed, but ACA does nothing. "

ME - ACA wasn't designed to address that issue. ACA was designed get uninsured people insured.

BMOC - "Fourth, the FDA needs to be rethought, as it is clear that many promising drugs could and ..."

ME - Again, ACA was not designed to answer this issue. it was designed to get uninsured people insured.

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