Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Healthcare Campaign Losing Steam

Recently Obama appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows in an effort to push healthcare reform.  It's been a few weeks now and I'm curious to see if it has had any effect on the interest of Americans.  So I turned to Google to gather some aggregated internet search data.  It's fairly effective to utilize Google data in determining public interest.  Below is a chart based on Google search data regarding four of the top issues facing Americans today.  This was eye opening to me.  I'll explain...but first, the chart: Right Click the frame to open in a new window or tab. For some reason Blogger is not showing the whole frame.

The results I found were nothing short of surprising. I would expect there to be a relatively higher amount of traffic around healthcare related searches. But over the last 30 days (since Obama's re-dedication to healthcare reform) public interest has been on a steady decline. In fact, the aggregated data indicate that there is more public interest surrounding the issues relating to Iran than there is interest in healthcare issues.

There are some disclaimers that need to be made. For example, this research doesn't differentiate between negative and positive searches. It only aggregates all searches around the term healthcare. I was able to filter the data to include only those searches relating to news and current events. This filters out searches around terms like "healthcare insurance" or "capital of Iran." However, this isn't all too important because I'm only trying to gauge public awareness of issues. Google search data is the best gauge because the majority of Americans now get news and information from the internet and conduct research through Google.

What do you think? Is this surprising?


Ben and Christina said...

First, congrats on the blog- I know you have been thinking about it for awhile! I will advertise for you on my blog, and I'll come to this from time to time, but I will have to admit: I go in and out of wanting to participate in debates. Sometimes I'm really fired up, and other times I get sick of feeling like I'm beating my head against a brick wall (I know you won't be offended by that, because I know you feel the exact same way!!!) But, sometimes I know one also feels the need to just get the thoughts OUT, so congrats on that!!

Re the post. I have decided NOTHING will be done with health care- republicans will win. The lobbyists are simply too powerful- for every 1 congressman, there are SIX health insurance lobbyists. Bacchus was paid 1.5 million dollars by them in the last TWO MONTHS alone, and all of a sudden he can't seem to find the votes he needs to pass his bill. So, lucky us- we will continue to pay more and more for less and less, while the insurance industry continues to write the rules. You win!

Curt said...

I agree, nothing will get done with healthcare...But that's not my goal, nor the goal of the majority of republicans. We DO WANT healthcare reform. The fact that it's not going to happen is because the democrats have chosen to do it all by themselves and not take any republican ideas into consideration. They would either do "all or nothing" like Clinton chose. It's a sad day in govt when they decide that if we don't want what they want, we don't get anything. The facts are that Democrats have all the power they need to pass healthcare reform. They don't need a single republican vote, although they have ONE (Olympia Snowe). And they still can't get their own party to agree. They're arguing amongst themselves, and worried about not getting re-elected if they vote against the will of the American people.

Jen said...


One question. Why is it that "The Republicans will win." It seems to me that there are enough democrats to push the vote through. It seems the division lies within the democratic part.

Also, have either of you heard about the report that Price Waterhouse put together. I don't know much about it but I heard that the insurance companies hired them to do an analysis and if the bill passes it will actually increase the current average cost per household ($13,000 per year currently) to and additional $4000 per year and increasing $4000 per year each year meaning it will be $25000 per household per year by 2013. I heard it from my hubby who is usually accurate on this stuff but maybe you should double check. The bottom line for me is that we need to come up with some real options that help, don't make things worse. To say that Republicans are doing NOTHING is not entirely accurate, but doing nothing is better than pushing something through that could have these types of repercussions. I personally would drop coverage all together and just pay out of pocket if it came to that. I can not afford an increase like that. I think we would have an increase in health related bankruptcies not a decrease. Just something to look into.

Curt said...

Yes, Jen, your husband is right. The only thing to keep in perspective is that analysis was done on the first version of the "Baucus Bill" which is not the bill that will end up being voted on. There will be all kinds of changes before it goes to vote on the floor. The bill presented to Obama will look nothing like it does now. For example, remember the stimulus bill they rammed through. The one Obama passed included a loophole to allow AIG to pay out its insane bonuses with the taxpayer money! That wasn't part of the bill that was available for us to read prior to the initial house and senate votes...

Thanks for checking out my blog...glad to have you here!

And I agree...the Republicans won't "win" if nothing is done. We ALL want reform, but the right kind of reform.