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View Full Version : Should the Government 'Stay out of medicare?'



johnw
08-19-2009, 05:16 PM
From Public Policy Polling:


One poll question indicative of how difficult it is to gain public understanding on a complicated issue asked if respondents thought the government should ‘stay out of Medicare,’ something inherently
impossible.

39% said yes.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_National_819513.pdf

Phillip Allen
08-19-2009, 05:19 PM
I thought medicare WAS the government?

johnw
08-19-2009, 05:20 PM
You didn't actually read the first post, did you Phillip?

Yeadon
08-19-2009, 05:22 PM
This will be fun.

elf
08-19-2009, 05:28 PM
Some, when it's explained to them, refuse to believe it.

Phillip Allen
08-19-2009, 05:28 PM
You didn't actually read the first post, did you Phillip?

first sentence...okay, okay...I'll go look

Phillip Allen
08-19-2009, 05:30 PM
first sentence...okay, okay...I'll go look

okay...it said just what I thought it would say...

Phillip Allen
08-19-2009, 05:30 PM
Some, when it's explained to them, refuse to believe it.

I quite understand...

Tom Montgomery
08-19-2009, 05:33 PM
A bit slow on the uptake....

Phillip Allen
08-19-2009, 05:34 PM
HE'S THE PRESIDENT...can't you guys quit looking for something to complain about?

next thing ya know, one of you guys will find some nut claiming Obama had his fingers crossed when he took the oath of office! There's BOUND to be one out there!

What a hang-up you guys have!

johnw
08-19-2009, 05:38 PM
okay...it said just what I thought it would say...
Right.


...something inherently
impossible.

John of Phoenix
08-19-2009, 05:38 PM
HE'S THE PRESIDENT...can't you guys quit looking for something to complain about?Are you on the right thread?

ljb5
08-19-2009, 05:40 PM
They didn't know Medicare is a government program? I'm not surprised.

According to a recent poll, 6% of the people think Obama was born in Hawaii, but don't believe that Hawaii is part of the U.S.

johnw
08-19-2009, 05:41 PM
HE'S THE PRESIDENT...can't you guys quit looking for something to complain about?

next thing ya know, one of you guys will find some nut claiming Obama had his fingers crossed when he took the oath of office! There's BOUND to be one out there!

What a hang-up you guys have!

I don't believe Obama was polled. This is about social security.

But now you mention it, Justice Roberts flubbed the oath...

Yeadon
08-19-2009, 05:43 PM
I think we should give Hawaii back.

johnw
08-19-2009, 05:47 PM
I think we should give Hawaii back.
Only if they take me with it.

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 05:50 PM
Is that the same 39% of folks making less than $25K that support health care reform? Or is that the same 39% making less than $25K that disapprove of Obama?

That first crosstab was fascinating. The vast majority of "poor" folks surveyed don't support health care reform. Once again, the progressive team goes to bat for folks who don't want any part of the game.

Tom Montgomery
08-19-2009, 05:50 PM
next thing ya know, one of you guys will find some nut claiming Obama had his fingers crossed when he took the oath of office! There's BOUND to be one out there!

So you think 39% of the American public are nuts?

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 05:58 PM
Did 36% of the survey respondents with a post-graduate education say that the government should stay out of Medicare? And 35% with a college education said the same thing? Wonderful question.

JohnW - What's your point in posting this particular piece of idiocy?

ljb5
08-19-2009, 06:01 PM
So you think 39% of the American public are nuts?

Perhaps nuts. More likely manipulated.

Tom Montgomery
08-19-2009, 06:16 PM
My guess is that the 39% comprise a large number of Americans who have opted out of the system by not voting, not writing their representatives, not staying current with the news and the issues.

I don't think they are either nuts or manipulated. I think they are willfully ignorant.

johnw
08-19-2009, 06:16 PM
Did 36% of the survey respondents with a post-graduate education say that the government should stay out of Medicare? And 35% with a college education said the same thing? Wonderful question.

JohnW - What's your point in posting this particular piece of idiocy?
We're having an important debate about healthcare reform and a large part of the electorate misinformed about the basic issues. I should have thought that point was obvious.

johnw
08-19-2009, 06:21 PM
My guess is that the 39% comprise a large number of Americans who have opted out of the system by not voting, not writing their representatives, not staying current with the news and the issues.

I don't think they are either nuts or manipulated. I think they are willfully ignorant.

It seems to have something to do with party affiliation.


Party
Democrat Republican Independent/Other

Yes 39% 24% 62% 31%
No46% 61% 24% 50%
Not Sure15% 15% 13% 19%

John Smith
08-19-2009, 09:26 PM
Did 36% of the survey respondents with a post-graduate education say that the government should stay out of Medicare? And 35% with a college education said the same thing? Wonderful question.

JohnW - What's your point in posting this particular piece of idiocy?
I think the point is that the American public, taken as a whole, is pretty unaware of what is actually going on. I know people who seem fairly intelligent that love their Medicare, but don't want government involved in health care.

I have an acquaintance who works for the post office presently, and I had to prove to him that he and his congressman have the same choices for their health insurance.

Even upon seeing, in writing, under congressional benefits, that his congressman is part of the exact same FEHB program that he is, he tried real hard to not believe it.

People, apparently without regard to their educational history, get hold of something, and they don't want to be shown they've grabbed hold of the wrong thing. Once they've made a decision, or arrived at a conclusion, they don't want to be confused with the facts.

High C
08-19-2009, 09:32 PM
..... I know people who seem fairly intelligent that love their Medicare, but don't want government involved in health care....

Perhaps they realize that Medicare is heavily subsidized by cost shifting to those who have private insurance. If we all go Medicare there'll be no one to shift those costs to. Then what??? Aggressive triage? :eek:

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 09:44 PM
. . . People, apparently without regard to their educational history, get hold of something, and they don't want to be shown they've grabbed hold of the wrong thing. Once they've made a decision, or arrived at a conclusion, they don't want to be confused with the facts.

This statement is much more personally relevant to you than you apparently know.

But anyway, when a question in a poll is designed to reveal knowledge and there is no statistical difference in the response rates for increasing education levels, the question is always rephrased.

Polling 900 some odd folks was just enough to reveal that the question wasn't working the way the pollster thought it would. Happens all the time in any kind of "testing" situation. You should look into the preliminary research that goes into each question before it is used on tests like the SAT.

The problem is the pollsters in this case aren't even good enough sampling statisticians to realize that the question is defective, instead, they get all smug about the number of people who "got it wrong". At least they were honest enough to show the crosstabs with this question.

ljb5
08-19-2009, 09:53 PM
But anyway, when a question in a poll is designed to reveal knowledge and there is no statistical difference in the response rates for increasing education levels, the question is always rephrased.

Some people might think it inappropriate to rephrase a question just because they weren't getting the response they wanted or expected.

You pretty much gotta dance with the data you get, not the data you wanted.

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 09:59 PM
During the preliminary testing and design phase of properly designed, statistically valid polls, every question should be tested to verify it's working to gain the information the poll claims to provide. This question, with 36% of people with more than a college degree agreeing the government should "stay out of Medicare" may simply be revealing the large numbers of people who heard that question and interpreted it in light of the current debate which includes changes to Medicare.

Don't dance with me to this music, you have no idea how tremendously competent I am at validating questions designed to reveal knowledge.

You want to find out if people know that Medicare is a Federal Government program, you ask them, Is Medicare a Federal Government program that provides health care to senior citizens and the disabled?

Glen Longino
08-19-2009, 10:06 PM
"Is Medicare a Federal Government program that provides health care to senior citizens and the disabled?"

If 36% of respondents answer, "Hell No", you'll know you're in Vidor, Texas!

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 10:17 PM
Actually, Glen, that "better" question I posed may still have too much emotional impact and may actually elicit a negative opinion response in a significantly large subset of respondents to invalidate it. Maybe in this emotionally charged debate, you can't ask any valid questions designed to reveal people's knowledge. See how hard it is to ask a good question?

Keith Wilson
08-19-2009, 10:19 PM
One could, I suppose, interpret that question to mean "Should the government leave Medicare alone?" i.e not change it. I'd guess that's what a lot of people thought they were answering, since it's sort of a trick question, and well-designed poll questions aren't usually like that. Milo's right.

ljb5
08-19-2009, 10:34 PM
On the other hand, one could argue that the question was phrased that way because the debate has been phrased this way. We hear phrases like this on a regular basis at town hall meetings.

When there are "astroturf" groups declaring their position has strong support, it can be quite instrumental to observe how easily a person can be persuaded to support such a bizarre position with only a little bit of prompting and twisting.

It's also entirely possibly that they never expected to find a correlation to years of college education. When they failed to find a correlation, they determined the question was functioning as they expected, so they decided to proceed with the results. There were enough other "knowledge" questions in the poll to allow them to block by intelligence. The question about whether Obama was born in France was clearly designed to test the suspectibility of the respondent to suggestion and to see if they've been paying attention to the issue at all.

Anyway, I don't think any of us expected this question should have been vetted to the standards of an SAT question or one for the Bar Exam. It was a poll question. You can see the phrasing and results for yourself.

How do you feel about that big gap between Democrats and Republicans?

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 10:41 PM
. . . How do you feel about that big gap between Democrats and Republicans?

Typical ljb5 debating point. I'll do the Barney Frank thing and answer your question with another question, but since debating you is like debating with the kitchen table, I don't expect too much.

How do you feel about the surprising %age of folks who would conceivably, due to lower incomes, benefit from health insurance reform, but are opposed to it?

Glen Longino
08-19-2009, 10:49 PM
Actually, Glen, that "better" question I posed may still have too much emotional impact and may actually elicit a negative opinion response in a significantly large subset of respondents to invalidate it. Maybe in this emotionally charged debate, you can't ask any valid questions designed to reveal people's knowledge. See how hard it is to ask a good question?

Yes I do!
BTW, have you quit whupping up on ole whatshername yet?:D

ljb5
08-19-2009, 10:49 PM
How do you feel about the surprising %age of folks who would conceivably, due to lower incomes, benefit from health insurance reform, but are opposed to it?

Either they are stupid, or they have been deceived (by powerful organizations with strong financial motives), or both.

I thought that was obvious.

The disinformation currently flying around did not arise by accident. Someone is deliberately creating it.

Try to figure out why.

Milo Christensen
08-19-2009, 10:51 PM
It always comes down to stupid. Such a simplistic, smug, sickening and demeaning response.

ljb5
08-19-2009, 10:58 PM
It always comes down to stupid. Such a simplistic, smug, sickening and demeaning response.

all that, and frequently true.

But you left out a few other points I made.

I also said they may have been deceived.

You left that part out. Very dishonest of you. You never change.

Dan McCosh
08-20-2009, 08:31 AM
This statement is much more personally relevant to you than you apparently know.

But anyway, when a question in a poll is designed to reveal knowledge and there is no statistical difference in the response rates for increasing education levels, the question is always rephrased.

Polling 900 some odd folks was just enough to reveal that the question wasn't working the way the pollster thought it would. Happens all the time in any kind of "testing" situation. You should look into the preliminary research that goes into each question before it is used on tests like the SAT.

The problem is the pollsters in this case aren't even good enough sampling statisticians to realize that the question is defective, instead, they get all smug about the number of people who "got it wrong". At least they were honest enough to show the crosstabs with this question.

I'd agree it is a bad question. The implication is whether "government"--i.e., the current congress---should alter the current medicare system. I would guess that the respondents that agreed interpreted the question this way.

It is the notion that government involvement is some kind of socialism, and a bad thing, while Medicare--a socialst system--is a good thing, that is the paradox embraced by lots of the resistance to a new health care proposal.

Milo Christensen
08-20-2009, 08:44 AM
. . . I also said they may have been deceived.

You left that part out. Very dishonest of you. You never change.

Ahhh, deception. Always a tactic reserved for evil corporate sponsored Republican fascists. Never possible to even consider the deception coming from your side. Never possible to look at the enormous influence certain health care industries have with the Obama administration in particular and the Democratic Party in general. Never possible to talk about the sums of money contributed over several decades by stakeholders in the status quo to the current Congressional leadership.

Not responding to the entirety of your drivel is not dishonesty on my part, it's ennui.

John Smith
08-20-2009, 08:56 AM
This statement is much more personally relevant to you than you apparently know.

But anyway, when a question in a poll is designed to reveal knowledge and there is no statistical difference in the response rates for increasing education levels, the question is always rephrased.

Polling 900 some odd folks was just enough to reveal that the question wasn't working the way the pollster thought it would. Happens all the time in any kind of "testing" situation. You should look into the preliminary research that goes into each question before it is used on tests like the SAT.

The problem is the pollsters in this case aren't even good enough sampling statisticians to realize that the question is defective, instead, they get all smug about the number of people who "got it wrong". At least they were honest enough to show the crosstabs with this question.
There are three reasons why one asks to have a poll taken. One is to get a true sense of public opinion, one is to get a true sense of the opinions of likely voters, and the third is to get results that back your opinion.

Each of us speaks from his own experience. Having dealth with Medicare for mom's health issues, and my Blue Cross (same Blue Cross my congressman can choose), there is no doubt that mom's Medicare was easier to deal with.

Medicare has some financial problems, but I think those would disappear if it covered all age groups, rather than just the elderly.

How about we swap. Let's let Medicare cover birth through 64, then let private companies be primary after that. Think they'd want to?

The brutal truth of health care is that we pay more than other countries. They cover everyone and their results are better than ours.

I'm puzzled as to how anyone can defend that.

This is, I think, a great description of the republican stategy:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#32469091

TomF
08-20-2009, 09:01 AM
I'm a bit confused, I admit.... is there someone here who is claiming that the public has NOT been misinformed and deceived in the course of the health care debate? :)I think the implicit claim is that both sides are equally deep in the muck.

I think that implicit claim is false.

Milo Christensen
08-20-2009, 09:07 AM
Ummm, John, the question in question is most definitely not an opinion question. This was a robopoll - press 1 if yes, press 2 if no, press 3 if not sure or you don't know. No possibility of expressing an opinion to the question "Should the government stay out of Medicare."

My purpose in expending such considerable effort on this thread is educating folks like JohnW who jumped on the 39% said the government should stay out of Medicare. Now JohnW is well known as a not terribly bright and very impressionable sort of liberal wannabe. He needs to know that not everything presented by his side is relevant to the discussion.

But anyway, carry on with all of your misunderstandings of the nature of the discussion going on here.

johnw
08-20-2009, 01:13 PM
Ummm, John, the question in question is most definitely not an opinion question. This was a robopoll - press 1 if yes, press 2 if no, press 3 if not sure or you don't know. No possibility of expressing an opinion to the question "Should the government stay out of Medicare."

My purpose in expending such considerable effort on this thread is educating folks like JohnW who jumped on the 39% said the government should stay out of Medicare. Now JohnW is well known as a not terribly bright and very impressionable sort of liberal wannabe. He needs to know that not everything presented by his side is relevant to the discussion.

But anyway, carry on with all of your misunderstandings of the nature of the discussion going on here.

Throw around all the insults you like. The question is far from perfect, but I'd still say the response is remarkable.

My question for you is why, having made a valid point about the question that we could discuss amicably, you felt a need to throw in the insults? It's not exactly a great debating strategy, and is probably related to that pesky character flaw that got you banned recently. You complain about being 'pinata boy' when people respond to you with the same sort of rudeness you throw at them. Is your combination of vitriol and self-pity getting you what you want? You seem like a reasonably intelligent guy, but your gratuitous insults just don't seem like smart behavior.

High C
08-20-2009, 02:06 PM
....The question is far from perfect, but I'd still say the response is remarkable....

...a very imperfect conclusion.

johnw
08-20-2009, 06:04 PM
So few things in this world are perfect.