Poll question needs to be asked in a different way

Reference article “UD poll: Most favor …universal health care” (Oct. 19, 2018)

How reliable are polls with regards to understanding how people really think concerning different issues? Two things perplexed me regarding the UD poll concerning universal health care: 1) since more than 60 percent of families have health insurance through their employers, I find it difficult to believe that some of these families/individuals would actually believe that a single payer (i.e. government run) insurance plan would be better than what they currently have – since some would have had to answer the question in the affirmative in order to get the 60 percent pro-vote; and 2) since this poll question (nor any poll questions I’ve seen over the years) didn’t include in the question what the consequences of voting “yes” would mean – i.e. your taxes would substantially rise – of course people would be in favor of it.

Ask the question in this manner: “Would you be in favor of a single payer, government run health care system if it meant a rise in your tax bill of 8-10 percent and longer waits to see your doctor?” and see what the response would be.

Ray Lynch


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