What’s the point of this poll?

A Reuters post today – “Americans confused about healthcare reform“:

A Thomson Reuters poll of consumer confidence released on Monday shows Americans’ confidence in their ability to pay for and access healthcare has fallen by 5 percent since December 2009.

The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index, based on a monthly survey of 3,000 consumers, asks if they have had trouble paying for or had to postpone care in the three months prior. And it asks if they expect to in the coming three months.

On every survey question, responses were more pessimistic in July than they were in December…

“I doubt the average person really knows what has been implemented,” he said. “They just know there is a lot of talk and there has been a lot of negative publicity.”

I don’t doubt that the results are valid.  I don’t think the poll is a sham.  I just don’t understand the point.

The economy is a mess.  Is there any reason to believe that the fact that respondents are pessimistic about paying for things isn’t related to that?

Moreover – and this is the real kicker – I don’t understand why there is this sudden need in the media for everyone to have a perfect understanding of the PPACA.  Don’t get me wrong – I wish everyone did.  But is there some underlying belief that everyone understands Medicare?  That isn’t the case.  Is there an underlying belief that everyone understands the tax code?  I don’t think that’s true.  Do you think everyone understands how the Pentagon functions?  How the farm subsidies work?  They don’t even understand the filibuster.

I don’t entirely blame the people, either.  After all, they need to get their information from somewhere, and I don’t see many stories on TV or in the paper on how any of this stuff works.

Maybe the media should spend a little less time telling us how little we know and a little more time informing us.

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