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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.
Yet Another Crazy Conservative Conspiracy Theory Proven Correct
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.