Saturday, August 2, 2014

Et tu, Wonk?

Headline at Heritage's Daily Signal:

Aetna CEO Admits Obamacare Customer Numbers Worse Than Expected

Paragraph to which the headline refers:
Bertolini said the initial Obamacare enrollment numbers were worse than expected but younger enrollees increased in April in May, when Aetna picked up two-thirds of its customer growth through Obamacare.
I.e., the headline should have read "Aetna CEO Admits Obamacare Customer Numbers Worse Than Expected Until They Got Better".

Another headline at the same site announces:

Support for Obamacare Decreases

on the basis of the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, which indeed found a very startling uptick in disapproval of the ACA from June (45%) to July (53%, almost all taken from the Don't Knows; the Approves dropped just from 39% to 37%). What they don't tell you was that large majorities of Democrats, independents, and the public as a whole think whatever it is they don't like can and should be fixed: repeal is less popular than the ACA itself:

The reason Heritage publishes these easily detectable lies-by-omission is pretty clear, I think. It's for inside-the-bubble consumption by their trembling, lip-biting fans, and not to inform anybody but to prompt the writing of checks. They know they won't get called on it by anybody who can hurt them.

What's harder to understand is why Jason Millman of the Washington Post's Wonkblog would be writing virtually the same story, with the headline

Suddenly, Obamacare is more unpopular than ever

This one is a bit more honest than the Heritage treatment; Millman acknowledges toward the end that the uptick in ACA unfavorables is statistically odd and could be noise, and mentions those improve-it-don't-repeal it numbers in his last graf. But the facts aren't reflected in his lede.

Then the editors follow up with a video promoting the traveling Koch Brothers anti-Obamacare carnival (the carnival Steve M was talking about the other day, comparing it to one of those Halloween Hell Houses) with the Proctologist Uncle Sam and so on, and without mentioning the Kochs, either. So really, it's propaganda—what's up with that? Is it Ezra Klein's fault for abandoning them before they were ready to survive on their own?

Cross-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.

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