January 12, 2015

Why Consumer Surveys Aren't the Best Way to Determine the Affordable Care Act's Impact

Robert Graboyes

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

Why, in the case of the Affordable Care Act, do we force journalists and ordinary Americans to play an utterly unnecessary game of “guess how many beans are in the jar?" The result wastes time and resources, diverting our attention from more substantive issues such as, “How is the law actually affecting the health and the pocketbooks of Americans?”

Why, in the case of the Affordable Care Act, do we force journalists and ordinary Americans to play an utterly unnecessary game of “guess how many beans are in the jar?" The result wastes time and resources, diverting our attention from more substantive issues such as, “How is the law actually affecting the health and the pocketbooks of Americans?”

In late October, Kevin Quealey and Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times wrote a fine, visually appealing piece on the change in health insurance coverage. The authors stated that overall enrollment increased by around 10 million people during the previous year, and their article featured maps depicting coverage down to the county level, along with national numbers on income, ethnicity, gender, rural/urban and so forth. All good stuff.

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