ACA, AEI, Forbes, and poor analytic skills

So, someone sent me this article, and as I am basically finished writing this grant (especially as it is delayed now anyway), I decided to read it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/23/its-official-obamacare-will-increase-health-spending-by-7450-for-a-typical-family-of-four/

“$621 billion is a pretty eye-glazing number. Most readers will find it easier to think about how this number translates to a typical American family—the very family candidate Obama promised would see $2,500 in annual savings as far as the eye could see. So I have taken the latest year-by-year projections, divided by the projected U.S. population to determine the added amount per person and multiplied the result by 4.”

I’m going to start here, because really, anything after this is just garbage. This is so simplistic, and makes such outrageous assumptions, that you really don’t even need to read further. What you need to know is that this is a ridiculous article written by someone from AEI. For starters, this “analysis” is a joke. He takes the entire population, divides it by four and then looks at cost increases. This would never be acceptable in an undergraduate classroom let alone a peer reviewed journal. It’s a joke. There is no age stratification, stratification by payer status (ignoring of course that 30% of the population is already under some sort of government insurance), ignoring the large differences in population (do we really think that children comprise 50% of the population?, it’s actually 23.7%)….it’s such a joke that you cannot even possibly take this seriously. The reasons are many. By also not stratifying by marital status, this analysis is a joke. IF 50% of the population was children, we were ALL married, and we were ALL purchasing insurance, sure…..but those assumptions are so ridiculous, that this article is well…..ridiculous. If this is what passes for scholarship at AEI, then they deserve all the ridicule that they well get for this. I can’t believe that Forbes actually published this. Then again, after the past 2 weeks, I should be able to believe anything I guess.

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