N&O publishes pseudo-scientific attack on Obamacare

Feeding the fear-mongering machine:

In May, I released a comprehensive study showing how the Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare – will likely play out in North Carolina over the next few years. The diagnosis isn’t good.

First, the short version. In two years, the ACA’s structural problems will lead to substantial premium increases. Once that happens, North Carolinians will likely leave the insurance market in droves. They’ll have little choice – they won’t be able to afford health insurance because federal subsidies won’t keep up with the rapid price increases. Within a decade, this could swell the ranks of the state’s uninsured by 57 percent.

It was either an oversight related to poor vetting on the part of the N&O's editorial staff, or an outright attempt to deceive their readership, but they failed to note this "doctor" was a PhD, as opposed to an MD. I don't usually quibble over that, because I have a lot of respect for PhDs. But when an article is related to medicine, the difference between the two is night and oranges. You don't allow those particular wires to be crossed, even when you're discussing economics. And this cookie-cutter article is appearing in other battleground states as well, proving that politics is behind the propaganda:

But that's nothing compared to what you'll face in 2017. In May, I released a comprehensive study showing how the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — likely will play out over the next few years. The diagnosis isn't good.

First, the short version. In two years, the ACA's structural problems will lead to substantial premium increases. Once that happens, Wisconsinites likely will leave the insurance market in droves. They'll have little choice — they won't be able to afford health insurance because federal subsidies won't keep up with the rapid price increases. Within a decade, this could swell the ranks of the uninsured by nearly 11%.

Yeah, about that "respect for PhDs" comment I made? I'm quickly losing it, because changing a few words here and there to get yourself published multiple times is not what I would describe as rigorous scholarship:

In May, I released a comprehensive study showing how the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — will likely play out in Florida over the next few years. The diagnosis isn’t good.

First, the short version. In two years, the ACA’s structural problems will lead to substantial premium increases. Once that happens, Floridians will likely leave the insurance market in droves. They’ll have little choice—they won’t be able to afford health insurance because federal subsidies won’t keep up with the rapid price increases. Within a decade, this could swell the ranks of the state’s uninsured by 45 percent.

Yes, this is what we in the highly-respectable blogging community call a campaign:

But that’s nothing compared with what you’ll face in 2017. In May, I released a comprehensive study showing how the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as “Obamacare” — will likely play out in Louisiana over the next few years. The diagnosis isn’t good.

First, the short version. In two years, the ACA’s structural problems will lead to substantial premium increases. Once that happens, Louisianians will likely leave the insurance market in droves. They’ll have little choice — they won’t be able to afford health insurance because federal subsidies won’t keep up with the rapid price increases. Within a decade, this could swell the ranks of the state’s uninsured by 41 percent.

A campaign to provide fuel to Republicans trying to take over the US Senate. And the N&O should know better than to become a pawn in the propaganda game.

Comments

The money behind the propaganda

Stephen Parente is one of the "experts" employed by the American Action Network:

With some of the country's top Republicans at the fore of the effort to create a new conservative think tank in Washington, the American Action Network is almost sure to become a political force when it launches later this month.

The public roll-out is scheduled for Feb. 22, so it's a good time to look at a few of the people who are reportedly helping to fund the American Action Network.

Asked about the funding model of the group in an interview with TPM last week, former McCain campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said, "We do have some people who have committed to help us for the first several years. We've also got nickels and dimes, and we're looking for more."

Holtz-Eakin is to lead the policy arm of American Action Network; former Sen. Norm Coleman is the chairman of the new group. Other GOP heavy-hitters reported to be involved include Jeb Bush and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

"Doctor" Parente is also a former advisor to McCain, so he's been a tool for several years.

N&O is fair and balanced

as long as by "fair and balanced" you mean reporting whack-job propaganda to please Art Pope.

But the Person County GOP chair says otherwise...

A quote from a July 2 LTE to the Roxboro - uh - newspaper from the county chair of the GOP - one Ms P.J. GENTRY of Hurdle Mills:
First, the N&O is known to be a liberal, progressive news organization, promoting socialist ideology.

She's a realtor so you know that she can not lie.

They're not liberal or conservative,

they're merely floundering under an outdated business model, filling column space with manufactured news because they've cut their news-gathering staff down to a couple of dinosaurs and a helpful robot.

Real Doctors

I take exception to putting 'doctor' in scare quotes for a PhD. Literally, doctor means teacher, and a PhD is essentially a teaching degree. Medical "doctors" are mostly not college or university level teachers, but highly skilled professionals more properly referred to as physicians and surgeons. Still, American English refers to them and even optometrists, chiropractors, etc with the honorific 'doctor'. Let us not now turn about and deny it to those who have earned it.

This is not to defend the author of the screed. Parente seems to have a legitimate PhD from Johns Hopkins and is chair of health care finance at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He should be more qualified than most physicians to speak about the financial side of health care. However his chair is paid for by the insurance industry, and he is a former McCain operative. He is probably in good company among physicians who inject goat gland extracts and Krebiozen.

Point taken

And I really wasn't trying to cast aspersions on PhDs. I know quite a few of them who are brilliant, although some need to spend a little more time learning how to communicate.

But while the PhD vs MD thing may be clear to scholars, for average folks, when they hear "Doctor so-and-so" said something about healthcare, they assume it's an MD saying something. That's why a newspaper like the N&O needs to spell it out for the readers. And you may be right, a PhD might be a better go-to source for economics. But that doesn't change the fact a reader has been misled.