From the "WTF?" files
We're trying to deal with everyone's health.
What do we do about this kind of stuff?:
As ThinkProgress has noted before, conservatives have frequently obscured the fact that Medicare is a government-run single-payer program. Constituents appearing at health care town halls have even demanded that their members of Congress keep their “government hands off of Medicare.” Now, a new Public Policy Polling poll finds that millions of Americans do not realize that the federal government runs Medicare:We have to remember that half the people are stoopider than average. But how do we keep them from conspiring with the Rethuglicans (or enabling them) to rape us all for the further profits of the rich and amoral?One poll question indicative of how difficult it is to gain public understanding on a complicated issue asked if respondents thought the government should ‘stay out of Medicare,’ something inherently impossible. 39% said yes.The poll also shows that an additional 15% of respondents were “not sure” if the government should be involved in Medicare. Only 46% of respondents disagreed with the proposition that the government should stay out of the government-run program.
Last night, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll showing that “all the misinformation out there” about health care reform proposals in Congress is taking root with many Americans. For instance, 45 percent believe the false claim that legislation includes “death panels” while 55 percent believe the false claim that coverage will be extended to illegal immigrants. MSNBC’s First Read notes that self-identified viewers of Fox News are disproportionately misinformed:Which is why we started that disastrous war on Iraq too. Only a $trillion or so, give or take a few, and over 4000 soldiers dead. A small price to pay for Rethuglican hegemony.Here’s another way to look at the misinformation: In our poll, 72% of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79% of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69% think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly. But it would be incorrect to suggest that this is ONLY coming from conservative viewers who tune in to FOX. In fact, 41% of CNN/MSNBC viewers believe the misinformation about illegal immigrants, 39% believe the government takeover stuff, 40% believe the abortion misperception, and 30% believe the stuff about pulling the plug on grandma. What’s more, a good chunk of folks who get their news from broadcast TV (NBC, ABC, CBS) believe these things, too. This is about credible messengers using the media to get some of this misinformation out there, not as much about the filter itself. These numbers should worry Democratic operatives, as well as the news media that have been covering this story.
Excellect article on the subject from MediaMatters and Jamison Foser here.