The Lies Are WorkingAugust 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
NBC and the Wall Street Journal put out a new health care poll yesterday that shows that not too much has changed in the past month. Public support hasn’t dropped off, it’s stayed about the same. Thirty-six percent think Obama’s health care plan is a good idea, 42 percent think it’s a bad idea, and 17 percent don’t have an opinion. On the public option, 43 percent support it, while 47 percent oppose it and 10 percent are unsure.
But, towards the end of the poll, they get into some of the myths about the health care bill that have been spread by its opponents. The number of people that have bought into them is astounding:
Besides the question relating to the “death panels,” a clear majority of the country believes that these lies about the bill are actually true. And 45 percent believe in the death panels! This isn’t just bad for the Democrats who are trying to get a bill passed, it’s bad for the public discourse surrounding health care reform.
Last week, I wrote about five common misconceptions about the health care bill and used the actual text of the bill to explain why they are not true. If you’re unsure about the answers to any the questions above, I recommend you read that post.
I should mention that the “government take over of the health care system” question in the poll above isn’t as black and white as the others. Some people believe that the public option would effectively crowd out private insurers, but others have probably been influenced by a lie that has been spread claiming that private insurance would actually be made illegal under the bill. This is absolutely false, as I explain in my post last week.