Poll Questions Draw Varying Health Reform Conclusions
News outlets continue to analyze how polls and public opinion intersect.
Polls can give misleading information about where Americans stand on health reform, Newsweek reports. "A Fox News story today - headlined 'Opposition to Health Care Reform Holds Steady' - said Americans oppose reforms proposed by the Senate 54 percent to 35 percent. A CBS poll last week, however, said the public supported a public-option by a two-to-one margin, 62 percent to 31 percent. Why the disparity? The answers you get depend on the questions you ask."
CBS's poll asked "Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government-administered health insurance plan - something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get-that would compete with private health insurance plans?" Fox's poll asked, "Based on what you know about the health care reform legislation being considered right now, do you favor or oppose the plan?" Polls that don't ask straightforward questions get "skewed responses," Newsweek reports (Herb, 10/15).