What if there were a lie at the heart of Obamacare?
Not that one. What if there were an underlying falsehood on which Obamacare was based – not just the well-known and oft-repeated, “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan.”
A report from Gallup Politics documents it, and talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh launched a diatribe about it.
“Every finding in this Gallup story goes against what we have had drummed into us by Obama,” Limbaugh said.
The bottom line is that Americans “remain generally positive about the quality of health care they personally receive, their health-care coverage and what they pay for health care.”
That means, Limbaugh explained, that the stated reason for Obamacare – the claim that the whole health-care system is broken and unfixable – was wrong.
“Everybody’s been sold a bill of goods,” he said. “Most people are and have been very happy with the current health-care system.”
Limbaugh said there was “not a massive national problem with health care in America.”
“Seventy percent of the American people were happy with the American health-care system,” he noted.
He said the false information was spread – and repeated – because the administration “wanted to control it, take it over and reform it.”
If such circumstances had developed among private enterprise, he said, it would constitute “fraud.”
The Gallup report by Frank Newport looked at health-care costs, coverage and quality.
“Americans continue to be much more positive about their own personal health-care situations than about the health-care situation nationally,” the report said.
“This suggests that Americans may be responding negatively to the new health-care law at least partly because the majority don’t perceive personal problems with their health-care that urgently need addressing.”
The report looked at five key topics. The first was “Americans’ views of their own health-care coverage are quite positive, and much higher than the ratings they give healthcare coverage in the country more generally.”
The report said 69 percent of Americans “rate their personal health-care coverage as excellent or good.”
And it says Americans’ ratings of their own health-care coverage “have remained remarkably steady over the past decade – and always much higher than their ratings of the nation’s coverage.”
Secondly, the report said a majority of Americans remain satisfied with the cost of their health care.
Gallup first asked Americans about the cost of health care in the U.S. in 1993, when President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton introduced a national health care plan.
At that point, the report said, only 8 percent of Americans were satisfied.
But satisfaction with health-care costs has been higher over the past decade or so, ranging from 17 percent to 28 percent.
The current 24 percent is slightly above the average since 2001.
The report found Americans “are quite positive about the quality of health care they personally receive.”
Their ratings of health-care quality nationally are less positive, but a majority still view it favorably, the report said.
Gallup found 54 percent of Americans rate the quality of health care in the country as excellent or good, down slightly from previous years.
“This measure has fluctuated somewhat since 2001, from a high of 62 percent in 2010 and 2012 to a low of 53 percent in 2001 and 2005-2006,” the report said.
“Almost eight in 10 Americans (79 percent) rate the quality of health care they personally receive as excellent or good, roughly at the average on this combined positive measure since 2001.”
Fourth, the report said most Americans “do not believe that the U.S. health-care system is in crisis, but they do think it has major problems.”
And lastly, the report said Americans “now view health care as the second-most-important problem facing the country.”
“More than twice as many Americans now mention health care as the nation’s most important problem than was the case just a few months ago, most likely reflecting the focus on the health-care law and health-care insurance exchanges when the survey was conducted in early November.”
The report found that “the majority of Americans give their own healthcare relatively high ratings” even as the “current efforts to reform health care are taking place.”
The results come from a random sample of 1,039 adults ages 18 and up living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The sample’s margin of error is 4 percentage points plus or minus.
Listen to Limbaugh: