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Of course: Changes to Census Bureau survey will make measuring effects of Obamacare almost impossible

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By Doug Powers  •  April 15, 2014 12:10 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

To be filed under “If you like your old health care questionnaire, you can keep your old health care questionnaire.”

From the New York Times:

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.
[...]
With the new questions, “it is likely that the Census Bureau will decide that there is a break in series for the health insurance estimates,” says another agency document describing the changes. This “break in trend” will complicate efforts to trace the impact of the Affordable Care Act, it said.

Naturally, the White House fought tooth and nail against changes to the existing survey so an “apples to apples” comparison with previous data would provide the taxpaying public with an accurate and objective analysis of Obamacare’s success or failure. Wait, never mind:

The Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Council of Economic Advisers requested several of the new questions, and the White House Office of Management and Budget approved the new questionnaire.

I’m imagining new survey questions like this:

1) Has the Affordable Care Act saved you hundreds of dollars a year?

A) Yes, it has

B) No, it’s saved me even more than that

Flashback reminder from 2009 by way of Allahpundit at Hot Air:

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**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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