Reading the New York Times Poll on Healthcare

The Times has a report about their new poll on today’s front page. As Adam Nagourney and Dalia Sussman put it in their lead, Obama “is confronting declining support for his handling of the war in Afghanistan and an electorate confused and anxious about a healthcare overhaul.” While that’s true, the most interesting part of the poll isn’t reported until near the end of the story, where we find this:

On one of the most contentious issues in the health care debate–whether to establish a government-run health insurance plan as an alternative to private insurers–nearly two-thirds of the country continues to favor the proposal, which is backed by Mr. Obama but has drawn intense fire from most Republicans and some moderate Democrats.

Indeed, what theTimes asked was whether people supported “the government offering everyone a government-administered health insurance plan like Medicare.” That would be more ambitious than even some of the “public option” proposals discussed in Congress, which would not necessarily be available to “everyone.” In other words, the public–in the face of a hostile and/or dismissive media system–prefers a substantially more progressive health care plan than anything being discussed in the Beltway or in the corporate media. In fact, they seem to support something resembling the “Medicare for all” concept that was trashed in the Sunday New York Times. You might find that newsworthy…but not if you’re the New York Times.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.