The Associated Press and its distributors at Yahoo! News are going wild over a new AP/Stanford University/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/GfK Roper poll that, as an AP headline over the article by my estimable Harvard classmate and Crimson colleague Erica Werner puts it, says, "AP POLL: Tax the rich to pay for health bill." You have to go to an obscure page of the AP Web site and download the actual poll data to find out that only 16% of those who answered the poll were college graduates -- hardly representative of the overall American population, where 29% of those older than 25 have a college diploma, according to the Census Bureau. The poll gave people a bunch of unpalatable ways to pay for health care reform and asked the question in a way that respondents probably felt that they had to pick the least unattractive one. There's a bunch of other information in the poll that tends to support more free-market ideas. For example, 40% of respondents described themselves as conservative, while only 19% described themselves as liberal. The poll also asked "If you had to choose, would you favor a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?" Fifty-five percent favored smaller government against 39% who favored bigger government. A basic element of ObamaCare is opposed by majorities of respondents -- 64% oppose an individual mandate to purchase insurance. The polls indicates that 49% of respondents think the proposed health care changes are going to make their own health care more expensive, while only 12% think it will reduce their costs; 34% said their health care would get worse with the changes, while 22% said it will get better. The changes will cause the overall American economy to get worse, 42% of respondents said, while only 28% said the overall economy would get better because of the health care overhaul. The AP somehow manages to sift through all that data and come up with a headline and article mainly about taxing "the rich," which the AP and its poll define as families making more than $250,000 a year.
Tax The Rich To Pay For Health Care