Technically true bullshit

One of the leading lights of the conservative “health wonk” community is peddling bullshit that is technically true if you parse it correctly but designed to mislead anyone but a hyper technical reader.

Last year open enrollment started on November 15th. The 6th week of open enrollment would have been the first week of January.

This year, open enrollment started on November 1st. The 6th week of open enrollment just wrapped up.

Yes, at the six week mark of open enrollment, 2014 enrollment is running higher than 2015 enrollment.  However there is one massive fact that will show 2015 open enrollment 7th week selections running ahead of 2014 7th week selections.  Sometime at the end of this week, and most of the state based exchanges will conduct a massive automatic renewal of plans.  That will move between 3 and 4 million people to new plans by next Monday (plus whatever number of people choosing new plans on the “waiting in line” extension that ends tonight for  So Week 7 2015 will wreck Week 7 2014 plan selection figures.

He knows that, I know that, 80% of the people on my Twitter follow list know that, but 98% of the American public does not know that.  It is pure bullshit of technically true nonsense.


21 replies
  1. 1
    🚸 Martin says:

    I’m trying to think of a single prediction that the GOP has been correct regarding PPACA. I can’t think of a single one. Arguing its popularity seems utterly beside the point at this stage.

  2. 2
    benw says:

    That 98% is way too high. And anyway, the American public doesn’t really give a shit about yearly relative cumulative plan selection totals. They do really give a shit about rising premiums and worsening coverage.

  3. 3
    Hal says:

    But what’s so bad about 4.2 million? This idea that the ACA has to enroll a bazillion people a year to be a success is a false standard Obama/Care haters use because they have nothing else to go on. Oh wait, I guess I just answered my own question.

  4. 4
    Jeffro says:

    Richard, why not throw it back on this clown (the facts as you’ve noted them) and give them their own hashtag, #week7wrecksweek6 or something? You’re in a great position to help get the word out.

  5. 5
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Wouldn’t one expect completely new sign-ups in the second year to run behind the first year, when nobody was in the system at all before because it didn’t exist?

  6. 6
    RSR says:

    I’d also suggest that a lot of people, including me, would at first glance think that as more people get insurance, fewer people will need to sign up in subsequent enrollments. I’m guessing that logic is not actually how the system works, or what these numbers represent, since the lower number is presented as a negative development.

    But maybe the number of people who think it’s some sort of indictment of OCare isn’t that great anyway. Just the BS tolerant wonks?

  7. 7
    JustRuss says:

    @RSR: Based on my own experience and people I know in the insurance business, you have to re-enroll each year, so these aren’t new enrollees for the most part.

  8. 8
    Mike in NC says:

    Spending several more days in Europe, where nobody really gives a shit about pig-ignorant Americans. After a truly decadent visit to Nuremberg we are about to travel up river to Bamberg, Werzberg, and Rothenberg.

  9. 9
    RSR says:

    @JustRuss: Yeah, I guessed something like that might be the case for the lower tally to be a bad thing. Although “massive automatic renewal of plans” sounds pretty hands off, so I guess that’s a good thing.

  10. 10
    J R in WV says:

    Why do people make shit up to make a point that isn’t true?

    They don’t understand that people who can’t figure it out won’t care, and people who can figure it out will know they’re full of crap! Self-defeating craptastic republican bullshite.

    If they we ren’t so evil I would feel sorry for them.


    You do know that health care costs have averaged an increase more than 10-15% annually for several decades? You seem not to be aware that the PPACA has caused the annual increase in health care costs overall to drop by a ton.

    I suppose you had comprehensive healrh insurance before the PPACA was passed? Because if you didn’t then it should make a big difference to you… For some people it’s the difference between a quick and painful death and an average lifespan with much lower levels of pain and suffering. The difference between being a Democrat and a Republican, too.

  11. 11
    p.a. says:

    @RSR: What’s the gross # of people losing parental coverage and entering Ocare, not employer coverage? Number will change yearly with demographics and economy (availability of health insurance-providing jobs).

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike in NC: Rothenburg is gorgeous.

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    I’m trying to think of a single prediction that the GOP has been correct regarding PPACA.

    I’ll go with “We’ll hate Obama EVEN MOAR if his Obamacare goes into effect.”

  14. 14
    NonyNony says:

    @trollhattan: Eh – I don’t think that one’s true either.

  15. 15
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @Mike in NC:

    If one cannot buy and consume a Bam Burger in that first city then there is no God.

  16. 16
    Hebisner says:

    This is targeted squarely at the inmates in the Conservative news bubble. They will take this and spread it around to the other patients in the asylum.

  17. 17
    Matt McIrvin says:

    These “Obamacare is failing” things bounce around in there all the time.

    What it reminds me of a bit is the “rusting windmills” meme. I read James Nicoll’s science-fiction reviews a lot, and a while back he noticed this weird tendency for recent SF novels written by right-wingish people to portray windmills turned into useless, rusting hulks after the Great Collapse. Why did Peak Oil or whatever make windmills stop working? he wondered. And why are they rusting, anyway, given that most of them are made of non-metallic composites?

    Anyway, I figured it out. There’s an article that’s been poking around the right-wing echo chamber for years with a picture showing a bunch of rusted-out old windmills, and some alarming numbers about the supposedly increasing number of derelict windmills being shut down in the US. The intention is to imply that wind power is rapidly collapsing as an energy source (and, by extension, that it was never remotely practical and that wind farms were always federally funded Potemkin villages), when, of course, if you do thirty seconds of research you can see the opposite is true.

    It’s always the same picture, of this one old wind farm in Hawaii. The windmills in the picture were rusting because they were obsolete ones from the 1980s that were made of metal, and they were shut down and replaced with a newer, larger wind farm for the same reason. Nor are they still standing; they were demolished years ago. And the same thing’s true of most of those other derelicts that supposedly dot the landscape.

    The meme keeps on circulating and it’s too good to check.

  18. 18
    ezra abrams says:

    why is there no website that catalogs gop ocare lies ?
    this isn’t just fun: in the next election cycle, and esp in 2018, we might win a few house seats with a good website
    if that website isn’t there, we will all forget

    I bet by 2018, gop house candidates will be runnning as the protectors of ocare from those evil dems who want to cut it

  19. 19
    ezra abrams says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    because we don’t work hard enough; it is like choice – the anti abortion people work harder

    fyi, this morning on WBUR, 90,0 boston, NPR, the connection, a talk show that pretends to be moderate but is actually right wing, for once an interesting guest, who said in response to “why is opec still pumping oil even tho the price is low”
    that the saudis think that in 50years, people wont be using anywhere near as much oil, either do to renewables or climate controls, so they are pumping it while they can

  20. 20
    Howard Appel says:


    “They do really give a shit about rising premiums and worsening coverage.”

    What a crock of BS. Premiums are rising more slowly than they were be ACA (but I guess that doesn’t count for ACA Deniers) and I don’t see any evidence that coverage is worse.

    In my own personal situation, my coverage at Kaiser is the same and my premium, after Federal Subsidy, increased all of $2.00. Yes, TWO WHOLE F***KING DOLLARS.

  21. 21
    Howard Appel says:


    Wrong. Millions, literally millions, of auto-renewal. Ty again sparky.:

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