Mr. Obama opened his 40-minute speech with what he called “disturbing news”: a report from the Treasury Department that, he said, “found that nearly half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next 10 yearsÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€šÂ and that ‘more than one-third will go without coverage for longer than one year.”
In fact, that is not precisely what the department found when it analyzed data from a University of Michigan survey that tracked the health insurance status of more than 17,000 Americans from 1997 to 2006.
The survey found that 47.7 percent had lost coverage at some point during those 10 years for one month or more, and that 36 percent lacked coverage for at least one year during that time, though not necessarily 12 months consecutively. Mr. Obama extrapolated those statistics to predict what might happen in the future.
Critics say that the president, who has deplored the “scare tactics” of his opponents, is now employing scare tactics of his own.
Huh. In case you didn’t follow that:Obama cited a study with somestrikingnumbers on workers losing their health insurance.That’s indeed what the study found…. BUT, explains the Times,his presentation is misleading because the future could be radically different from the very recent past. Or as Dean Baker put it, “President Obama was making extrapolations about the future based on the past. Next thing he’ll be telling us that black is white and night is day. This is why we need an independent media.”