House Republicans are demanding more details about the U.S. Census Bureau's decision to change its questions about health insurance in a way that makes it hard to track the impact of President Obama's health care law.
Reps. Darrell Issa, a California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican who chairs a subcommittee that oversees the census, questioned the timing of the revision and why officials at the White House and Health and Human Services Department weighed in and approved the changes.
“Numerous experts from across the political spectrum claim that the Census' new measure will limit the effectiveness of the survey to measure the effects the Affordable Care Act has had on the number of people with health insurance over time,” they wrote in a letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director John Thompson.
The changes, first reported by the New York Times, are taking place just as the American public is weighing Obamacare's impact and trying to figure out the net number of people who have gained insurance versus those who have had plans canceled in the wake of the new law.
A test run with the new questionnaire produced lower estimates of the uninsured than in previous years, which could result in overestimates of the Affordable Care Act's impact on increasing the numbers of those with insurance nationwide.
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