Census Bureau Under White House Information Umbrella

On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton scoffed at the latest allegations that the White House is trying to cook the books on ObamaCare numbers by changing the Census questions.

I previously posted on this in a post entitled, “Another Republican Claim Proven Right — Census Bureau.” Much to the Party Line chagrin of not so sharp Sharpton, when a respected centrist wonk like Megan McArdle is cracking open her thesaurus to describe her alarm and disgust over the changes — and thus the baseline — in the Census Bereua’s matrix, you know the fit is hitting the shan! Here is HotAir’s post:

….For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I’ve been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don’t know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population. Other surveys are available, but the samples are smaller, so they’re not as good; the census is the gold standard. Unfortunately, as I invariably noted, these data won’t be available until 2015. I stand corrected: These data won’t be available at all. Ever.

Why?  Because as the New York Times reported, the Census Bureau has decided to throw out its 30-year formula (and therefore its baseline) on measuring America’s uninsured population, and replace it with a new methodology.  The revised math, according to Census officials, will result in much sunnier-looking results.  Independent of the statistical merits of this change, the timing, quite literally, could not be worse.  McArdle is aghast:

I’m speechless. Shocked. Stunned. Horrified. Befuddled. Aghast, appalled, thunderstruck, perplexed, baffled, bewildered and dumbfounded. It’s not that I am opposed to the changes: Everyone understands that the census reports probably overstate the true number of the uninsured, because the number they report is supposed to be “people who lacked insurance for the entire previous year,” but people tend to answer with their insurance status right now. But why, dear God, oh, why, would you change it in the one year in the entire history of the republic that it is most important for policy makers, researchers and voters to be able to compare the number of uninsured to those in prior years? The answers would seem to range from “total incompetence on the part of every level of this administration” to something worse.

She affirms that she does mean every level of the administration, citing this passage in the Times piece:

The White House is always looking for evidence to show the benefits of the health law, which is an issue in many of this year’s midterm elections. 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. 

This tectonic shift was requested and approved by the White House…

 …read it all…

Another Republican Claim Proven Right — Census Bureau

This is yet another “lie” supposedly made by the right. Remember the Lie of the Year where Mitt Romney said Jeep was gonna go to China? Proven right, and the Lie of the Year was pwned! How bout’ Sarah Palin being eviscerated for her “death panel” comments? Again, the Right (Sarah Palin and others) were proven right! How bout the REAL Lie of the Year? Obama was shown to be THE Lie of the Year… and it stuck!

Now another Republican position was proven right. This comes via Black and Conservative (Derrick Wilburn). Bravo to Media’ite for posting this!

In 2009, in the earliest weeks of President Barack Obama‘s administration, the White House made the controversial decision to take the unprecedented step of moving the Census Bureau from control of the commerce secretary over to the White House ahead of the decennial 2010 census.

Conservatives sounded alarm bells. “It takes something that is supposedly apolitical like the census, and gives it to a guy who is infamously political,” said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) of then White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

“Requiring the Census director to report directly to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is a shamefully transparent attempt by your administration to politicize the Census Bureau and manipulate the 2010 Census,” read a letter addressed to Obama authored by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC)….


….Policy analysts and columnists, who are not reflexively friendly to conservative causes, called the debasement of a formerly neutral agency to achieve a political end “insane” and “inexcusable.”….


According to a report in The New York Times, the Census Bureau has been directed to change the wording of its questions relating to health care coverage so that they can no longer be checked against the past three decades of data. According to the nonpartisan analysts and census officials The Times spoke with, this change will make it nearly impossible to accurately assess the effects of the Affordable Care Act has had on the number of Americans who have health insurance.

The changes will, however, likely have the effect of showing a reduction in the number of uninsured. This will not be the result of the effects of the law. Rather, according to the Census Bureau’s chief of the health statistics branch, the drop in uninsured is only going to be due to “the questions and how they are asked.”…


…And, thus, another crazy conservative conspiracy theory is proven to not be so crazy after all.

So this is how it looks:

  • Republicans warned you couldn’t keep your health care. Dems said you could keep it.
  • Republicans warned illegal aliens would be insured thru Obama-care. Dems said NO WAY JOSE!
  • Republicans warned about death panels. Dems said we were conspiracy nuts!
  • Republicans said the Obama admin was gonna sell (and move) Jeep to China. Dems said, yeah right.
  • Republicans said the Obama admin would politicise the Census. Dems said yur crazy!
  • Republicans said Putin was gonna take Ukraine. Dems said the 80’s called.
  • Republicans said the ACA (Obama-care) would kill jobs. Dems said it would create 400,000 immediately.

Um, when is America gonna wake up?