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Friday, March 19, 2010

Interesting New Blog: Health Care Polls

I found the reading on this blog interesting.

Click here for blog: Health Care Polls

It is always interesting to analyze polls. For instance, this blog points this out:

Although I found Anzalone-Liszt's question-wordings on the whole to have a more neutral tone than IWF/Polling Company's, there were some Anzalone-Liszt items that appeared to be colored by the firm's ideological leanings:

1. Among a set of provisions said to be in the bill, which were read to respondents to see if they would make them more likely to support the bill, was the following:

Cuts waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid and helps ensure that Medicare funds go to improving care instead of to insurance company profits.

I would consider this a glowing, too-good-to-be-true description.

2. A phrase in another item refers to how insurance companies "will be required to invest more in improving care instead of inflating their profits."

I'm not saying that insurance companies don't take unfair actions, but in a survey context, the phrase "inflating their profits" is pretty inflammatory.

See how polls can be manipulated? For instance, read the following two questions and ask yourself how you'd likely answer the poll question:

Do you support the governmental take over of health care currently being called "health care reform"?

Do you support health care reform that would regulate what insurance companies can do based only on profitability?

In the end, the two questions ask essentially the same question: do you support health care reform. But how the question is worded can really skew the results. Most people would be much less likely to say yes to the first question than they would the second question.

Pollsters could claim, using the first question, that a majority of respondents are opposed to health care reform. Conversely, pollsters could claim that a majority of respondents are against health care reform by using the second question.

Sometimes it isn't what you ask, but how you ask it.

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