Convenient: Changes To Census Survey Will Make It Difficult Measure Impact Of Obamacare

Just in time for America to start measuring the impacts of Obamacare on the goal of insuring previously uninsured Americans, the US Census bureau has announced that they’ve changed their questioning about health insurance.

The new methodology will result in fewer people being counted as uninsured. Which is convenient, no?

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.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, you guys.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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