There were many media outlets over the weekend touting the results of an Elon University poll (and I use the term poll very lightly, see my real thoughts on it here) that showed that 78 percent of North Carolinians supported reforming the health care system. Somehow, media members took that to mean that 78 percent supported Obamacare. That’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Just because one supports reform of the current system does not mean support for the bill that was passed last night.
We here at Civitas and many other free-market people certainly agree that the health care system needs reform, and would probably be included in that 78 percent who agreed. However, our reform ideas are certainly not contained in the Obamacare bill: more HSAs, less mandates, equalizing the tax treatment on individual vs. business purchase of health insurance among others. (Want more? Read Civitas’ recommendations here.)
In fact, if you read the actual poll released by Elon University you find that of the 78% who support reforming the current system, 48% of those respondents say government isn’t doing enough. Thus, only 37% of North Carolinians express support for the current proposal. The other 63% responded something along the lines of: “Government going to far” or “Not the government’s responsibility.”
We released our latest polling on Friday that showed 50% of North Carolinians are opposed to Obama’s health care reform proposal with only 39% supporting it. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the poll released by Democratic polling firm PPP that said 58% of North Carolinians opposed the measure.
So let’s not confuse voters’ support for reforming the current system to their support, or lack thereof, for Obama’s plan. Those two things are not the same.