In which a shamelessly dishonest administration gets ready to be even more shamelessly dishonest.
WASHINGTON — The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.
The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.
An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.
“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau.
So watch the bouncing ball here. The changes will force a “break in trend” in healthcare uninsured numbers and how the government reports them. The Census Bureau says, now, that the new methods will make comparing the pre- and post-Obamacare numbers an apples and oranges comparison. But when the numbers do come out this fall, the Democrat from Obama on down will crow about them. They will say that Obamacare has reduced the number of uninsured. And the media, including the New York Times that is reporting on the change, will be right there to fail to acknowledge the impact of the change.
What will the low-info voter do with the new, shiny lower numbers?
Over at JuiceVox, late-term abortion filibuster cheerleader Sarah Kliff has already sent up the Media Bias Signal. Nothing to see here, move along.