Do voters really want government health insurance?

By: MICHAEL BARONE
Senior Political Analyst
Washington Examiner
10/20/09

The headline on this morning’s Washington Post lead story, “Public Option Gains Support,” and the subhead, “CLEAR MAJORITY NOW BACKS PLAN,” would lead you to think that the answer to the above question is yes—and that the public has been moving in that direction. Like my Examiner colleagues Byron York and Chris Stirewalt, I think that’s misleading.

When you look at the actual question wording and numbers in the ABC/Post poll, you find that the percentage supporting and opposing “the proposed changes in the health care system by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)—no, I don’t know what the parentheses mean either—was 48%-48% in the ABC/Post’s mid-October poll, 46%-48% in its mid-September poll and 45%-50% in its mid-August poll.

In other words, there’s been no statistically significant change over the last two months. Similarly, Barack Obama’s job approval and disapprorval on health care was 48%-48% in mid-October and exactly the same in mid-September.

So what’s the headline referring to?

The article continues here.

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