Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Census Bureau overhauling how it counts uninsured

The New York Times is reporting a change in how the census is going to count the uninsured, asserting that the bureau "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." This story has all the potential to give ammunition to the law's opponents with more "cooking the books" allegations.

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.

The indispensable Sarah Kliff has the whole story, a story that really clarifies this change in the survey instrument and what it could mean for estimating the numbers of uninsured.

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