How Well Does Conservative Misinformation About Obamacare Work? New Chart Illustrates: Pretty Well

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum created a new chart yesterday that illustrates how well Americans understand Obamacare amidst conservatives’ relentless manipulation of the facts. Apparently, their misinformation works pretty well.  

Drum looked at the results of an Affordable Care Act quiz (you should take it!) put out by a health foundation several months ago and found that the questions that were most frequently answered incorrectly were the ones that asked about issues conservatives have worked tirelessly to distort.

He created a graph using the quiz results:

The questions on the right were most often answered incorrectly because, as Drum wrote, conservatives are always “rabble rousing” about death panels, illegal immigrants, Medicare cuts, a “government takeover” (public option) and supposed small business mandates.

However, they don’t say much about pre-existing conditions, small business tax credits, Medicaid expansion and low-income subsidies — I guess they haven’t found a way to twist these popular features yet.

Drum also shared his thoughts on why the small business mandate question was the one most often answered incorrectly:

The Rush/Fox/Drudge axis has been screaming about the government takeover of healthcare for three years now, and it's sunk in … That's why, faced with a question most of them really have no idea about, their immediate reaction is to believe that, in fact, government is once again planting its jackboot directly on the necks of America's small businesses. It's a small issue, but it's also a bellwether that the broader conservative misinformation campaign has burrowed very deeply into the American psyche.

Drum states that the “exception” to the graph is the individual mandate because “there really is an individual mandate in the law, so conservatives have no need to lie about it.” Still, it’s important to note that the quiz simply asks if the law requires Americans to have health insurance or face a penalty — which is true. But conservatives have completely distorted the mandate’s context, and it’s likely the majority of quiz-takers answered “Yes” angrily. Due to the pervading misinformation, Americans continue to fail to realize that the mandate will affect only 1 percent of the population, and is about only 1 percent of the person’s income.

AlterNet / By Alyssa Figueroa

Posted at July 6, 2012, 7:27am

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