Flawed NYT Poll Used to Urge Obama's Takeover of Healthcare

June 24th, 2009 6:33 AM

Froma Harrop may have once been called Heartland Institute's "favorite lefty" journalist, but lefty she is and her use of a lopsided New York Times poll to urge President Obama to "act fast" on a government healthcare policy is a perfect example of that.

With her June 23 article, Harrop was frustrated that Obama was not "stepping on the gas" to institute publicly funded healthcare and she wondered why he is dragging his feet when "85 percent of Americans want 'fundamental changes' in American healthcare." This factoid she gleans from a very flawed NYT poll that is so badly skewed to the left that it is amazing anyone takes it seriously.

Harrop makes no bones about the fact that she wants a nationalized healthcare policy to be forced on the nation and she also doesn't think that anyone needs to listen to Republicans, effectively disenfranchising the roughly half of the American electorate that votes that way. Amazingly, Harrop is supposed to be a "financial reporter," yet she still wants this disastrously expensive, jobs killing, cost spiraling sort of plan anyway. This doesn't say much about her grasp of economics.

Nonetheless, Harrop says it should be full speed ahead.

President Obama has a green light and open eight-lane highway for health-care reform. But somehow the guy can't put his foot on the gas. He hedges in neutral while some fellow Democrats muck up policy and Republicans demagogue them into mush.

A commanding 85 percent of Americans want "fundamental changes" in American health care, according to a recent New York Times-CBS News poll.

Let's talk of this NYT poll. It shows that "Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system," and that 85 percent want those "fundamental changes" to our healthcare system. But a quick look at the polling data shows an interesting disparity of Republican to Democrat respondents. It turns out the polling sample is 48 Obama voters to 25 McCain voters. That is almost two to one Democrats over Republican respondents. Wouldn't such a Democrat heavy sample naturally find a higher number wanting those "fundamental changes"? (and what does "fundamental changes" mean, anyway?) The Times poll also says that a government healthcare insurance plan receives "bipartisan backing" with the result that, "nearly three-fourths of independents and almost nine in 10 Democrats" back a public plan."

On the other hand, a Rasmussen poll from June 15 shows that the country is split 41/41 on whether they want a government controlled insurance scheme for healthcare. This split seems to reflect the rather more closely spilt electorate, doesn't it? (Remember that Obama won his election by a 53 to 46 percent margin)

Apparently, though, Harrop doesn't much care if half the electorate is ignored through overly speedy Congressional debates and wants President Obama to hurry up about it.

Above all, he should drop the obsession with winning wide Republican support for health reform. Time to stop idling and gun it out on the road.

Isn't it interesting how she feels that half the electorate being represented in Congress and in this debate is an "obsession" that Obama should "drop"?

Harrop also doesn't think the trillions of dollars this plan will cost the U.S. is any big deal. This is another amazing lapse from an economics reporter. In fact, it is clear she wants even more spending.

The problem isn't the $1 trillion. It's that the legislation would leave too many Americans uninsured. Even the $1.6 trillion earlier estimate is not an outlandish amount to spend on a decade's worth of high-quality health-care for all Americans. The Bush tax cuts will cost $200 billion more than that.

No doubt Harrop also believes the fantasy that 46 million Americans are uninsured and that no expense should be spared to cover them.

In any case, one wonders how Harrop imagines that the government is going to pay for all this totally new spending when budget shortfalls are being seen throughout the country for the unfunded mandates already in existence? But with ideas such as these, it is no wonder she wants Congress to hurry up and push this boondoggle through. She wants it done quickly before voters start to realize what a mess this policy really is and how much we are all going to be soaked to pay for it.

Harrop doesn't want debate and she doesn't want bipartisanship. She wants Daddy Obama to dictate to us apparently for our own good.

Isn't that swell of her?