There are two recent health policy articles by interested lay expertise sites that have me scratching my head. In Vox’s case, I am seeing a conclusion without context. For 538, I can not figure out the model that leads to a core assumption. These sites’ jobs are to inform the public and in these cases I think they can do a better job of their job.
Let’s start with Vox as Sarah Kliff looks at a Society of Actuaries analysis of risk scores on the individual market. She draws a very strong conclusion.
Between 2014 and 2015, SOA finds that Obamacare’s average risk scores went up by 5 percent. This means that the overall pool of people on the marketplace were sicker in 2015 than 2014. You can see the data here, in a table from the report.
The Society of Actuaries draws a much weaker conclusion
Risk measures published in the CCIIO release show that the average measure of risk increased from 2014 to 2015. Increased risk scores may be a combination of identification through better coding as well as a measure of the actual population health….
The program is still too immature to draw conclusive inferences about the future of the pool or marketplaces.
Vox saw a number that went up (bad) and wrote a story with no context.