Friday, August 28, 2009

Open letter to James Lindgren

James Lindgren at the Volokh Conspiracy has recently posted two comments on an Indiana survey of healthcare reform. The links to his posts are here and here.

Here is my open letter (i.e., open email) in response:

Dear Mr. Lindgren,

I enjoyed reading your recent posts on the survey about health care reform "myths," and I believe your comments on the specific "myths" asked about in the survey are well-taken, and I agree with most of them.

My quibble is that you seem to misrepresent the purpose of the survey. As I read the synopsis of the survey, which you linked to, the goal was to ascertain how many people believed what the White House claims are "myths." In other words, it's more of a survey that attempts to figure out how effectively the White House is getting its message across. The survey does not, as I read it, say that these "myths" are indeed "myths," only that the White House claims they are.

I base my assertion on the following words taken from the website you linked to:

"A surprisingly large proportion of Americans believe what the White House has dubbed ‘myths’ about health care reform."

I am posting this email, which I am sending to you, on my blog, If you care to respond, you are welcome to do so.


"Pierre Corneille" (pseudonym)

UPDATE (8-30-09): Mr. Lindgren responded to my post in the comments below. I would like to thank him for taking the time to do so.

He correctly and politely points out that I elided over something he said in his original post, namely that one of the survey administrators said something to indicate that he really believes the healthcare myths are "myths."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the comments.

As I wrote in my first post. Prof. Carroll, the head of the organization that did the study, announced its results on MSNBC with these words:

"More than half of Americans believe so many of these myths that it’s really quite clear that the administration and Congress just aren’t getting the message out about what health care reform is really going to do."

Carroll's public statements make clear that he views them as myths. If they aren't myths, then they should not be called so.


Jim Lindgren