May 30, 2014

Agenda-Driven Much? CNBC’s Dan Mangan, on Kaiser Poll: ‘Shut Up About Obamacare!’

In a report at CNBC on Thursday, Dan Mangan covered a “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll” which appears to have been pre-cooked to please an administration which would love to have the press give Obamacare even less than the disproportionately low coverage it has received since a few weeks after’s disastrous initial rollout.

Mangan eagerly took the bait. His opening sentence: “And the winner by a nose is…shut up about Obamacare!” Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

Tired of hearing about Obamacare? You’re not alone

… A slight majority of registered voters, 51 percent, are tired of hearing congressional candidates talk about Obamacare, and want them to instead talk about things like jobs, a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll revealed Friday. Just 43 percent want to continue listening to debate about the health-care reform law.

The poll also underscored how entrenched the law is likely to remain in the U.S., despite its relative unpopularity.

But of course. The more we in the press talk about how entrenched the law is, the greater the chance it will actually become entrenched. Don’t like it? Too bad, so sad, you opposing yahoos.


Although 45 percent of the public has an unfavorable view of Obamacare — 7 percent higher than people with favorable views — 59 percent favor improving the law over repealing and replacing it. Just 34 percent said they want the 4-year-old law scrapped.

“I think there may be a sense that this law’s been on the books a long time now, so for some people who view it unfavorably, they’d rather improve what’s there instead of taking it out,” said Liz Hamel, director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s public opinion and survey research unit.

Gosh, this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that the Kaiser Family Foundation has a huge substantive and emotional institutional investment in Obamacare, up to and including being the source of the “subsidy calculator” which has generated countless millions of hits at its web site, could it?

Any doubts readers may have that Kaiser’s poll was agenda-driven should disappear once they see this actual agree/disagree statement which was included in the survey:


For heaven’s sake.

When has anyone ever seen a poll question asking whether respondents are “tired of hearing candidates talk about” any number of left-favored dead horses, like raising the minimum wage, alleged (but not proven) increases in income and wealth inequality, gun conrol, the war on women … you get the point. We’re never supposed to tire of hearing about those items — but please “shut up about Obamacare.”

With the exception of Fox News and several center-right media outlets, the press is already doing a great job of not talking about or covering Obamacare. They’re also not investigating it, and putting up with levels of non-transparency they would never tolerate in a Republican or conservative administration. The independent watchdog group Judicial Watch has arguably pulled more Obamacare-related information out of the government than all other establishment press outlets combined.

Mangan’s writeup and the Kaiser poll driving it are the kind of items designed to get Republican and conservative candidates who pay far too much heed to political consultants who believe that the road to success lies in being a squishy moderate to back off. Unfortunately, it appears, at least to an extent, to be working.

You’re being played, people.

If Dan Mangan is so tired of Obamacare, maybe he should look into being something other than CNBC’s “Health Care Reporter.”

Cross-posted at


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