The Corner

An Evidence-Free CNN Story on Obamacare

“Voters sick and tired of health care debate,” runs the headline of Halimah Abdullah’s CNN story (h/t my dad). Abdullah quotes one guy saying he feels this way, then writes:

Dean is not alone in his exasperation. Americans have long held entrenched positions on the Affordable Care Act. According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted immediately after the Supreme Court upheld the law two weeks ago, 52% of those polled said they favored all or most of the law’s provisions, while 47% opposed them.

“Those types of numbers ‘have been set in stone’ since the law’s passage in 2010, said Mollyann Brodie, senior vice president for public opinion and survey research for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Is it really necessary to explain that these entrenched opinions do not mean that the public is sick and tired of the debate or, since the story is pegged to the House GOP vote to repeal the bill, resents the decision to hold the vote?

The reporter then goes back to Brodie.

“The sense of voter fatigue depends on the voter’s (political) position,” Brodie said. “Those in favor are tired of this ongoing debate and want opponents to drop their efforts. For Republicans and those who oppose the law, they are absolutely content to keep going.”

Brodie doesn’t provide evidence for this limited assertion either. If true, though, it contradicts the rest of the piece, since it suggests that roughly half the voters are not at all tired of this debate.

Abdullah then brings in David Bositis, who attempts to support the voter-fatigue theory by pointing to the low approval ratings for Congress — which, again, obviously do not provide any support for the theory. CNN reporters may think Americans should just accept Obamacare as a permanent fact of life and reject attempts to undo it as tedious. There’s no reason to think most Americans are there.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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