Throughout a speech which supported President Barack Obama’s healthcare laws, Bill Clinton expressed a nice piece of polling information pertaining to one of the law’s provisions, younger Americans can be covered by their parents’ health insurance up till the age of 26, with more Republicans following this example.
Clinton was speaking at Little Rock, Arkansas on September 4th 2013 and said that is policy was paramount toObama’s law and should be effective in supporting the health of young Americans.
Clinton significantly used data from the eminent Commonwealth Fund poll which illustrated that large volumes of young people aged 26 and under were already enrolled in their parents’ plans. He used this to his own means of course- promoting the Republican Party as being one that valued personal responsibility and people’s quality of life.
The irony is that young members of the GOP- which generally opposes this law- actually utilise it more often than young Democrats was not lost on the audience who were tittered to this comment.
However, is Clinton actually correct in what he says?
We examined the Commonwealth Study in question and started to analyse it. The fund is 95 years old and attempts to facilitate the promotion of a high quality healthcare system which achieves success and looks after its members well in addition to protecting the more vulnerable groups in society like poorer people, ethnic minorities and those who are uninsured. Although it is impartial, it is supportive of Obama’s law.
The fund commissioned two polls of young Americans, one in November 2011, with the other being carried out in February and March 2013. The survey was unconventional and relied on internet polling rather than a ballot box, sourcing a sample which represents the demographic population accurately. In 2013, 3,530 adults aged from 19 to 29 were invited to take part in the poll, with over half doing so. The margin of sampling error was relatively small, only being 3 percentage points.
So it appears that Clinton was right, with 63 percent of young Republicans, as opposed to 45 percent of young Democrats being enrolled on their parents’ plans.
The vicepresident of the Affordable health insurance for the Commonwealth Fund gave us more information about the survey. 1,001 respondents aged 19 to 25 were sampled, with 28 percent of them being Democrats and 26 percent identified as Republicans.
Clinton only quoted a portion of the sample, thus explaining the higher error. However, the results are still reliable in a statistical sense.
Incidentally, the partisan effect is more evident in 2013 than in 2011 with not much to choose between young republicand and democrats signing up to their parents’ plans.
Overall, it seems that Clinton’s statement was actually true after all.