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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 22, 2011 16 Adar II, 5771

Gifts of bogus statistics for the health-care law's birthday

By Glenn Kessler




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | “This is a very special month for us because one year ago we passed the historic Affordable Health Care Act, which has made a difference in the lives of the American people.”

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

 

House Democrats held a birthday party last week for passage of the health-care law. Just as we looked at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s floor speech noting the milestone, we will now examine some of the claims made by Democrats.

McConnell framed his speech in negative terms, citing data to back up his language. Both Democrats and Republicans can pick and choose numbers and studies to make their case, but we found that generally McConnell did not exaggerate or use bogus figures.

By contrast, House Democrats appear to show little hesitation about repeating claims that previously have found to be false or exaggerated. So let’s take a tour through the numbers.

“It's about jobs. Does it create jobs? Health insurance reform creates 4 million jobs, and in the last 12 months the private sector has added 1.5 million new jobs, and of that a quarter of a million were in the health insurance industry.”

— Pelosi

Here, Pelosi is repeating a talking point from the health-care debate. The 4 million figure comes from a report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning group, which estimated that universal health care would add 250,000 to 400,000 jobs a year. Pelosi took the top end of the range and then multiplied it by 10, a numerical sleight-of-hand that Polifact last year labeled “half true.”

A Pelosi spokesman noted she has been using this statistic for 14 months now, but we frown on the reuse of statistics previously found to be suspect.

In this case, since the bill has passed, the Congressional Budget Office has done its own analysis (the one McConnell cited) that cast some doubt on the CAP analysis, written before the bill was passed into law. Presumably, members of Congress should pay more attention to estimates by their own budget agency than think tanks that promote their agenda. Repeating this dubious statistic is worth at least a Pinocchio or two. (About our rating scale)

The second half of her statement comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Health-care jobs have long been an important part of new private-sector jobs, so 260,000 being created in the last 12 months is not out of the ordinary. For example, BLS figures show that in 2007, there were 381,000 health care jobs created; in 2006, 324,000 jobs; and in 2005, 271,000 jobs. The CAP study was not making any prediction about health-care jobs, but all jobs, so it is unclear what point Pelosi is making with this statistic.

 “It's about reducing the deficit. Again, it reduces the deficit more than $1 trillion over the life of the bill.”

— Pelosi

This is another bogus statistic for which we have previously awarded three Pinocchios.

The CBO estimated $143 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years in the health-care law, but about $19 billion of it came from unrelated items. As we have noted, the remaining $124 billion was based on a number of assumptions that called that estimate into question.

But Pelosi claims more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction by using a 20-year figure that is particularly absurd.

 As we wrote in January: “There are too many uncertainties to be precise, and the CBO itself merely offered a tentative guess of a "broad range of around one-half percent of GDP," with significant caveats. Democrats simply took that percentage, multiplied it against the predicted size of the GDP 20 years from now (itself a pretty fuzzy figure) and, presto, they had a number. But it's a fairly meaningless one.”

 “In fact, when you look at the percentage of employers with 10 employees or less that offer health care, it rose from 46 percent in 2009, and it went up to 59 percent in 2010, at the end of last year, an incredible increase that we have. That shows that it is working.”

— Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)

Another three-Pinocchio statistic! We also picked this apart in January so we are surprised this golden oldie is still in use by Democrats.

The statistic comes from a Kaiser Family Foundation survey that was largely conducted before the health care bill was passed, so it is pretty irrelevant. Moreover, the study said the main reason for the shift was not because more companies were offering health insurance but because more that did not were going out of business.

 Gary Claxton, the main author of the report, also told us that the data set for small firms — the one Cuellar cited — was too tiny to reach any conclusions.

So, rather than showing that the health care law is “working,” the survey that is the source of this statistic does not show that at all.

 Jose Borjon, a spokesman for Cuellar, said in an e-mail: “Thank you for bringing your January 19, 2011, Washington Post Fact Checker article to our attention.  Congressman Cuellar based his quote from a December 27, 2010, Los Angeles Times story by Noam Levey. Thank you for bringing to light the correct characterization of the Kaiser employer survey. Nevertheless, stories across the country, from North Carolina to Kansas, demonstrate that small businesses are increasingly taking advantage of the small business tax credit to provide health care to their employees.”

The Times article does provide anecdotal evidence that health insurance companies are aggressively marketing a small-business tax credit in the law to sign up new customers. Still, Democrats need to drop this ”fact” from their talking points.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on Glenn Kessler's column by clicking here. >

An award-winning journalism career spanning nearly three decades, Glenn Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street. He was The Washington Post's chief State Department reporter for nine years, traveling around the world with three different Secretaries of State. Before that, he covered tax and budget policy for The Washington Post and also served as the newspaper's national business editor. Kessler has long specialized in digging beyond the conventional wisdom, such as when he earned a "laurel" from the Columbia Journalism Review



Previously:

03/21/11: Mitch McConnell's not-so-happy birthday greetings for the health care law

03/10/11: A job-loss statistic produced out of thin air

03/10/17: A budget analogy that earns a Geppetto checkmark

03/10/11: Four pinocchios for the American public on the budget

03/09/11: Obama and the White House's ‘halfway’ fixation with the budget

03/08/11: Foreign policy braggadocio on Libya and AIDS

03/07/11: Democrats keep misleading on claimed budget ‘cuts’

03/01/11: Mike Huckabee is on to something here, but jumped the gun

02/25/11: Harry Reid's illusory $41 billion in budget cuts


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