Pres. Obama's Census power play hits paydirt....
One of the first acts of the Obama administration in 2009--less than one month into the new president's term--was to move the Census Bureau supervision into the White House. This enabled what has just taken pace, ginning up phony ObamaCare numbers.
As reported by the New York Times:
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.
In fact, the Times reported that a test of the new methods revealed a 10.6 percent uninsured rate, whereas the old numbers came to 12.6 percent. That’s a significant difference.
The WSJ editors note that Team Obama could have done what it did for poverty figures: run the old & new systems parallel for a few years to see how the data compare:
It would have been less disruptive to either delay the update or else to run the old and new CPS in parallel for a few years. As we wrote Wednesday, the second option would preserve the value of three decades of old information, while still producing more accurate statistics going forward.
We've since learned that this hybrid method is precisely what the Census Bureau proposed to do for its data collection about income and poverty in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement, or ASEC. Census announced this change at the same time it proposed the new health insurance questions in the Federal Register in September 2013.
Let the Census explain: "The ASEC 2014 data collection instrument will have a split-design structure, with two separate treatments for the income-related section. . . . Five-eighths (5⁄8) of the sample will have income questions from the 'traditional' design, while three-eighths (3⁄8) will have income questions from the 'redesigned' ASEC. This split-design will enable Census Bureau analysts to create a 'cross-walk' when analyzing the effects of the redesigned ASEC on income and poverty estimates."
Put simply, the number of uninsured will be conveniently lower--just in time for--hmmmm--the 2014 mid-term elections. And O-Care will follow the path now being trod by Vermont's single-payer Green Mountain Care: soaring expenses with no funds to cover.
Bottom Line. Census data burrows into every nook and cranny of our lives. The possibilities for manipulation ISO political gain are infinite. And this administration will try to take advantage of very one of them. Nor can successor administrations be counted upon to rescind such abuses. They will, likely, commit more of the same. Of government bureaucrats it can be said, borrowing the Victorian wit of Oscar Wilde, they "can resist anything but temptation."
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Economy, Comservative Politics