Spending enormous resources on a program to reduce X, and then not tracking (or even putting in place a mechanism to track) whether X was reduced as promised. James Taranto quoting the National Journal quoting Administration officials:
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the health care law will reduce the number of uninsured people by about 24 million over the next few years, and that about 6 million previously uninsured people will gain coverage through the law’s exchanges this year. So, is enrollment on track to meet that goal? Overall enrollment is looking pretty decent, but how many of the people who have signed up were previously uninsured?
“That’s not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way,” Cohen told the insurance-industry crowd on Thursday when asked how many of the roughly 4 million enrollees were previously uninsured.
Nicely done. The PPACA was passed first and foremost to bring insurance to the uninsured. I always thought that the Left misunderstood (accidentally or on purpose, I do not know) the nature of the uninsured and thus overestimated what impact the PPACA would have in this regard. But one way or another, you would track the impact, right? I can just imagine trying to explain to my old boss Chuck Knight why we spent billions to reduce a certain product’s cost but did not track whether we had actually reduced the cost.
Postscript: Here is my prediction — The Administration will declare that no one had “real” insurance (as they define it) so everyone in the exchange was previously uninsured.
Yes, I excerpted his entire post. It’s far better to read him than spend your time here.
(1) I would NOT take the other side of Coyote’s bet/prediction, even at very favorable odds.
(2) I am a bit surprised Coyote and others are actually pointing at this as “you see, they aren’t doing what they say they’d be doing, much less measuring it.” Why? Well, who says that the goal of the program was really to get more insurance to the uninsured? That’s what “they” say. I am far more skeptical than everyone else I guess. But when we have laws like this enacted by people who appeal to “symbolism” as a reason for doing something, you have already, to use Coyote’s language, “jumped the shark.”
This is post-modern victim-exploitation stuff coming home to roost.
On a totally unrelated other note of course, the typically charitable Arnold Kling is not feeling so today:
This is not charitable, but what I want is a psychological explanation for why progressives need to make disagreement with their outlook a pathology. I want to know why their capacity for critical thinking disappears when they read studies that make them feel better about being on the left.
My sense is this is not unique to progressives. Which reminds me of something Coyote wrote a tiny bit earlier … such a coincidence:
Postscript: One other potential definition of “moderate”: One could argue that in actual use by politicians and pundits, “moderate” effectively means “one who agrees with me” and “extremist” means “people who disagree with me.” The real solution here may be to accept that “moderate” is an inherently broken word and stop using it.
Folks on the Left who want to blame the Tea Party for the destruction of civil discourse need to look at themselves as well, declaring the science settled on everything and then painting their opponents as anti-science for disagreeing. As I have pointed out before, this sort of epistemology is not science but religion, the appeal to authority backed by charges of heresy for those who disagree.
If I were going to make a political plea, it would not be for moderation but for better more respectful practices in the public discourse.