WaPo's Fred Hiatt falsely claims health care subsidies aren't popular

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt doesn't just leave the misinformation to his stable of former Bush speechwriters -- he rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done himself:

As president, however, Obama had to grapple with the reality that extending government-subsidized insurance to the working poor is not all that popular in a country where most people have insurance, from the government or from their employer.

Hiatt didn't cite a single poll or study to back up that claim. Maybe that's because if you go to PollingReport.com, you'll find four polls conducted this year that assess the public's interest in subsidizing health insurance for people who need it -- and all four found that doing so is, in fact, popular.

In February, a Newsweek poll found 59 percent support for requiring that "all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help to those who can't afford it."

A February Kaiser poll found 68 percent think it is "extremely" or "very" important to provide "financial help to lower and middle income Americans who don't get insurance through their jobs to help them purchase coverage." Only 11 percent think it is "not too important" or "shouldn't be done at all."

An ABC/Washington Post poll found in February that 56 percent think the government should "require all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with tax credits or other aid to help low-income people pay for it." You'd think Hiatt would know about that one -- his own employer sponsored it.

And in January, a Kaiser poll found 62 percent would be more likely to support legislation that would "Expand the Medicaid program to cover everyone with incomes under 133 percent of the federal poverty level" and 57 percent would be more likely to support legislation that would "Provide financial help to people who have incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level -- about $88,000 for a family of four -- and who don't get insurance through their jobs to help them purchase coverage."

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
Fred Hiatt
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.