RE: Anecdotes ain’t our thing. Stop asking.

Aaron wrote a post, “Anecdotes ain’t our thing. Stop asking.” in which he said it was important to him to “see the system work at a population level”. Okay, that got me thinking. Here is my comment.

I am curious what “see the system work at a population level” will mean? I am also curious when the Affordable Care Act will transform itself from a primarily political achievement into a policy driven achievement. Until then I would be suspicious of any population level data coming from the On one hand I agree with you that a steady diet of anecdotal stories is hazardous to your mental health. On the other hand I found that when I tried to explain differences between anecdotal information and some “population level” data sets found on and coming from HHS, I found serious problems in either the data or the application used to access that data. As long as is a politics driven web site it would be wise to remember the old saying, caveat emptor!

  1. As an example the insurance finder on is an example of a population level data application that is seriously misleading for some people. Was it intentional or another silly mistake?
  2. For the last month the Kaiser subsidy estimator was incorrect for me. It looks like the source of their problem was bad data from
  3. I am still trying to figure out the burst of reports in September 2013 that showed that the 2014 Ohio rates will show a reduction compared to 2013 when all of my simple price checks are showing a 100% increase in rates? Maybe it is a coincidence but something has got to give. It is way past time that policy statements should start matching up with price checks.