Brad DeLong: Harold Pollack on the Wall Street Journal

Just what was the “solid information” that changed people’s views? A strange laundry list of obviously incomplete, untrue, or misleading claims from a website called healthreformquestions.com…. “The average family’s health-insurance premiums are already up $ 1,300.” Readers who track through the references to a Kaiser Foundation report will find no evidence that this $ 1,300 increase arises from health reform or could have been prevented by a bill whose strongest provisions have yet to kick in…. “Young workers who buy their own insurance will see a 19%-30% increase in premiums as a result of ObamaCare.” This analysis cites an Avik Roy column in Forbes which cites an original analysis of health care markets in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Colorado by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. I’m not crazy about Avik’s column…. Avik is an outside advisor to the Romney campaign…. At least Roy properly references the pertinent details. Readers of healthreformquestions.com would not know several important facts noted by Gruber himself to Ezra Klein last year…. Then there’s the strange discussion of preexisting condition health plans (PCIP) and high risk pools…. Pretty much everything is incorrect here…. Senator DeMint’s writers divide a tendentious estimate of the total costs for the entire full-implemented health reform effort which serves many millions of Americans over a full decade. They then divided this total ten-year expenditure by last year’s enrollment in one tiny and temporary program that accounts for maybe 0.25 percent of total spending under health reform….

[W]hat’s disgraceful here is not that Independent Women’s Voice chooses to peddle crude propaganda under the guise of educating people about health reform. That’s who they are and what they do. The real disgrace is that the Wall Street Journal regularly grants op-ed space for people to make claims that couldn’t pass a ten-minute fact-check in the bottom paragraph of its fashion or sports pages…

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