In the continuing analysis of ObamaCare . . . let’s continue to count the change.
The administration did not release two other crucial statistics that would help determine the success of the law: the number of people among the eight million who bought insurance for the first time and the number who paid their initial premiums.
The number of those who were previously uninsured is important, since many people could simply have been moved from plans that were canceled by the law. Administration officials have promised to release that information when they have it, but they have said it is not data that is collected by the government.
The count now stands at 8 million enrolled which is even better than the 7 million previously counted. But, that’s a count which includes many people who don’t truly count for ObamaCare. People who already had health insurance, but then enrolled for ObamaCare because the law killed their previous policies do not count. ObamaCare aimed at the uninsured, right? And, it sure would be nice if enrollees also had paid premiums because enrollment without payment is fantasy insurance. But:
Administration officials have promised to release that information when they have it, but they have said it is not data that is collected by the government.
How is it possible that the government does not have this information? I’m not talking politics here, I’m talking straight persuasion and counting the change. I’ve designed and implemented a new computer-based system that people must enter to count and I cannot count at every nanosecond variables like prior insurance, age, or health status? That is astoundingly unbelievable on the face of it, like catching your children with their hair on fire while swearing they weren’t playing with matches.
Who designs a Big Data system that cannot instantaneously and continuously count things like that? Such an assertion bears no scrutiny because of the implications for either (or both) competence and character. You cannot be that stupid or that dishonest. I think that Team Obama knows to the fifth decimal place exactly the count on these variables and is maneuvering. Consider these three paragraphs from the NYTimes account.
President Obama announced Thursday that eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including what the White House said were a sufficient number of young, healthy adults, a critical milestone that might counter election-year attacks by Republicans on the law’s success and viability.
In the early months of signups, the number of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 — who tend to be healthier — hovered around 25 percent. But as White House officials predicted, many young people appear to have waited until close to the March 31 deadline to enroll, increasing their participation.
The administration said Thursday that 28 percent of those who bought policies were between the ages of 18 and 34, but some analysts said the optimum level would be 40 percent.
So. Team Obama asserts there is a “sufficient number” of young and healthy first time enrollees because at first only 25% of this target enrolled, but now it’s all the way up to 28%. Do a cold hearted persuasion analysis on this.
Team Obama can say that 28% of the enrollees are young and healthy, but cannot say whether anyone is previously insured. They can say that 28% of the enrollees are young and healthy, but cannot say whether anyone paid their premiums. Again, I shout, are you serious? What kind of Big Data system permits a public number as specific as 28% young and healthy, but doesn’t permit any number for prior insurance or payment status?
This is the kind of counting you would expect if you were protecting the Idiot Niece or Nephew in the Corner Office running a new Big Data Initiative. Only someone who enjoys kindness from strangers or a rich daddy or a good looking momma can say things like this and survive.
Quickly now, draw a sharp contrast in this Local and most others. Team Obama holds their position until January 2017 and can get away with such obvious political machinations. They face no existential consequences. For everyone else who lives in a Skinner Box, this kind of Big Data design, implementation, and public comment is a shock box.
As always with a persuasion campaign, especially one still on-going, is the problem that you rarely have all the crucial information you need to critique it. Thinking as the persuasion guy in charge of doing ObamaCare, I’d be having heart failure today even with the limited public knowledge about it. Sure, I’ve got a number like “eight million” that everyone around me agrees is a safe public number, but that I know is only a General Semantics Persuasion Play©™® where we’re fooling Other Guys into confusing the number for the reality.
I’d also be worrying over the next round of enrollments which begin in a few months. Will I still have a bazillion dollar media budget? Will Mr. Obama still play irony between the ferns? How am I going to motivate the nearly 40 million remaining uninsured to get into my system? And my prior experience in the Fed would worry me more. Even when there’s enough money, somebody can always just change their mind and a campaign gets dropped, neither a failure nor a success, but politically useful.
Man, anyone who thinks persuadin’ is easy don’t know sand from ice.