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Swampland's Kate Pickert takes a closer look at the McKinsey and Co. report that claimed 30% of employers plan to stop offering health insurance to workers as a result of the Affordable Care Act released this week, and finds good reason for "health skepticism" regarding its conclusions.

She called McKinsey to find out more about the methodology of the survey, and didn't get a lot of answers to her questions. Here's what she asked the company in order "to evaluate the integrity of the McKinsey study and make any judgments about the ACA based on it":

* What were the precise breakdowns of size, geographic location and industry for the businesses included in the survey? This would tell us if the sample was representative of American business as a whole. Small businesses, for instance, might be more likely to drop coverage due to the structure of the ACA.

* How were the businesses chosen? An unbiased sampling method here is key. If the list of businesses was culled from Chamber of Commerce memebrship or McKinsey client lists, this is important to know. Ditto if the list was generated in a more randomized way.

* What was the response rate? And how were businesses surveyed? If 13,000 businesses were contacted, but only 1,300 responded, such a 10% response rate could call into question the results. Also, there is, for example, a huge difference between surveys conducted in person, over the phone and over the Internet.

* Lastly, this tidbit was included in the McKinsey Quarterly article about the survey:

“…our survey educated respondents about [employer sponsored insurance] implications for their companies and employees before they were asked about post-2014 strategies.”

In other words, those conducting the survey may have primed respondents to say they would keep or drop coverage.

The company declined to comment on all of these questions, including the text of the statement they used to "educate" respondents, but did tell Pickert that a third party did not pay for the survey. All of this is important to know because this study is such an outlier, as the White House pointed out. Good for TIME and Pickert for digging deeper into a story others in the traditional media took at face value.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Some tools are poles, and some polls are tools (7+ / 0-)

    So there was an agenda behind this. On the other hand, severing employment from health insurance would be a good thing. It would eventually lead us to a single payer system.

    As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:14:46 PM PDT

    •  This: (7+ / 0-)
      severing employment from health insurance would be a good thing. It would eventually lead us to a single payer system.

      True or not, this study helps our narrative: health care is too important to be left in the hands of the for-profit marketplace.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:29:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is more than obvious that (0+ / 0-)

      these shills see the handwriting on the wall.. and they are frustrated that they can't paint over it anymore.

      The goal is to eventually skip both middlemen.... the "insurance industry" & "employers".

      We will, sooner than later, adopt Single Payer.. a universal approach that is, simply, "We the People" pooling our resources to self insure.... giving everyone equal access to the best care.

      It really is a fait accompli... in fact, it has an excellent chance within the next five years as some states are starting to implement it as we speak ... & as these successes are noticed, more momentum will be created to go national with it.

      The insurers know this.. & are now attempting to squeeze the last drop of blood out of it’s clientele while they still can.

      This is a done deal, ladies & gents.... & all of the posturing of their shills in the GOP trying to retain a "profit motive" where life & death decisions are made.. & all the wingers & their lies & fear tactics... & all or the whiners who do nothing but complain without ever offering any proactive solutions… & those that couldn't care less about the welfare of the American People, notwithstanding.  

      There is no turning back.

      .

      "Happiness isn't something you experience.... it's something you remember."

      by Sandy Berman on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:31:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do you support a government take over of healthcar (7+ / 0-)

    with death panels, or do you like puppies?

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:15:15 PM PDT

  •  journalism from the Village? (5+ / 0-)

    Isn't there a law against that sort of behavior?

    •  More from The Prisoner (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      "Labour Exchange Manager: Good, you are honest. That is of use. Honesty attracts confidence, and confidence is our core of our business. See how honest I am being with you?"

      Yes, you can trust them...

      "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

      by TerryDarc on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:57:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Something about clocks and blind squirrels (0+ / 0-)

      comes to mind. Or maybe an infinite number of monkeys on keyboards. It was bound to happen by accident sooner or later.

      As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:59:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's more what you'd call...guidelines. -eom- (0+ / 0-)

      Stupid is as stupid elects.

      by TheOrchid on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 05:16:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I see it, the problem with those (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, Blu Gal in DE

    who insist that healthcare is not a “basic human right” (but rather a "commodity") is that they tend to treat health in the abstract…. but not it's “care”.

    They "factor" costs.. but never in genuinely human terms.

    They claim that "health" (in and of itself) is not a commodity... but to BE healthy "IS".

    Sorry.. but that’s pretzel logic at its most twisted.

    True enough that it might very well be a commodity here in the United States at the current moment... but it shouldn’t be… not anywhere.. and certainly not in a nation so rich as America.

    Nor should it be in any enlightened, self-governing society that values life over wealth.

    This is precisely why this battle for universal healthcare needs to be fought tooth and claw, and why it will continue to be waged until the dreams of our Founders are finally realized... until ALL of the people enjoy the provisions of our Constitution…. our values and responsibilities to each other.

    There truly are such things as "moral imperatives", and this is the “motherload”.

    Not just "life" but “quality life”.

    It's called "civilization".... and unless it's nurtured,  it dies.

    "Happiness isn't something you experience.... it's something you remember."

    by Sandy Berman on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:26:34 PM PDT

  •  Very fishy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, filby, dougymi

    They're basically corporate consultants, so they could probably cook something up that would make their clients happy with it being "third party sponsored" per se.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:26:37 PM PDT

  •  Can ANYONE cite a SINGLE discovery.. (8+ / 0-)

    a new pharmaceutical, treatment, medical device... a new procedure.. research or development.. any new course of study..  any means of reducing human misery.. any methods of HEALING..

..from an INSURANCE COMPANY?

    "Happiness isn't something you experience.... it's something you remember."

    by Sandy Berman on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:27:05 PM PDT

  •  Ahh "declined to comment" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi

    In other words, "Go away b*tch."

  •  No Problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bensdad

    Everyone will just ask for their own "McWaiver" from Obamacare...

  •  Mmmmm...... (0+ / 0-)
    By their own count, they serve 80 of the Fortune 100, though who, precisely, retains them, they try to keep confidential.

    http://nymag.com/...

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:34:29 PM PDT

  •  Barely rises to a "Some are saying" poll (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, filby, ferg

    So, gospel inside the beltway.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:37:00 PM PDT

  •  McKinsey is a well-respected consulting firm (0+ / 0-)

    However, they should be more than willing to provide their methodology and information as to how they conducted their survey. It reminds me a lot of how opponents for HCR used the Lewin Group, a front for United Healthcare, to attack Obama's plan.

  •  Shooting down a study is like putting.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi

    ...toothpaste back in the tube.  People see the headline "Study says that 30% of Employers Will Drop Health Coverage" and they never get into the weeds about who commissioned the study. You can say that there are other studies that are less frightening, but the fear remains.

    There never were any "Death Panels" But there is a propaganda machine, and it is gearing up. You can't fight the machine with counter-studies.

    In addition, I thoroughly believe that Fortune 400 companies will dump healthcare as soon as they can.

    However, if the propagandist's plan works, they won't have to: Health Care Reform will be killed in its crib by the US Supreme Court or a new President.

    I didn't intend the above as a factual statement.

    by Bensdad on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:43:40 PM PDT

  •  The only way to fix it is to flush it all away. (0+ / 0-)

    "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

    by Pierro Sraffa on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:45:58 PM PDT

  •  Hilarious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meggie, TerryDarc

    Minutes ago I Googled "McKinsey" and at the top of the recent articles section was the Swampland report, so I clicked on the link and read the article, clicked back to the Google page and there on the top was Joan's Daily Kos diary, and here I am laughing my ass off.

    Well, it was hilarious to me, anyway.

    The part about "educating the respondents" is priceless.

    This poll is about as scientific as Palin's account of how Paul Revere warned the British that the Americans were coming.

  •  So what about the "waivers"? (0+ / 0-)

    What percentage is that?  What will happen when the waivers run out?  

    Why the waivers in the first place?  

    ACA is supposed to be a very good thing yet a bunch of companies and unions are getting waivers.  

    And, what's gonna happen once the waiver period runs out...what then?  

    Let's don't hear the talking points about just certain things being waivered...what's truly gonna happen for the people affected here?

    Isn't that the true question...even with the companies and unions getting a kind of "pass" on having to offer up employees insurance bennies?

    What's the true...real...deal?

    No, not interested in spin and rhetoric and innuendo...interested in truth.

    Anyone?

    -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

    by r2did2 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:48:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm one of those in the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    57andFemale

    minority whose family pays for its own health insurance.  This report isn't bad news to me.  The sooner these people lose their employer health insurance, where they have no idea what the REAL cost of health insurance really is, the sooner we will ALL be on the path toward Single Payer.  And I came to this conclusion during health insurance summer when so many people I talked with and listened to had no frickin clue what their health insurance actually costs.

    "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

    by Meggie on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:50:39 PM PDT

  •  would that be the 30% (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TerryDarc, ferg, 57andFemale

    that still offers healthcare? Because everyone I know, my parents, friends, siblings, don't have any health insurance even though they work full time. Being in the sheet metal workers union 10 years didn't get me insurance either, thanks to the eligibility rule change, i still had to go to stroger hospital here in chicago, and only when i needed emergency care.

    Strike! Without our work they have absolutely nothing...

    by discontent73 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:52:43 PM PDT

  •  McKinsey CEO Raj Gupta: (0+ / 0-)

    In March, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed an administrative order against him saying that he had passed confidential information to hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, the central figure in the biggest crackdown on insider trading in US history.

    The next Arthur Andersen. Pay no attention to McKinsey.  They are lost.

  •  McKinsey = skum (0+ / 0-)

    corporate wheel greasers of the greasiest variety.

  •  I really have to wonder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J Orygun

    I've been an online subscriber to the McKinsey quarterly for some years now...

    Last year at some point, they offered 'free' subscribers (some of their online stuff is subscription-only, some is available if you just sign up) opportunities to participate in "surveys" on industry trends.  If you signed up and responded, you got access to the data and analysis after-the-fact.

    I've responded to several of them -- they ARE fairly detailed, but it's also a self-selecting pool.

    I have a vague recollection of a recent survey - about a month or so back - about organic growth challenges, IIRC.  I seem to recall in one of the sections, there was a question where respondents ranked their top three out of a pool of about 10... things like dispersed supply chains, regulatory challenges, financing, et al.  For each selection, you then answered several additional questions with more specifics.

    I'm seriously wondering if THIS is the survey they're talking about...

    If so... hoo boy... I mean - it's a great tool, and I've read some interesting case studies and analysis based on the surveys... but come one.

    #1, it's a self-selecting sample-- which as any statistician will tell you, is nearly worthless.  #2, there's zero verification that the respondents are who they say they are -- I mean, no real reason to lie or anything -- but still.

    I think I'm going to check my e-mail archives.

    Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

    by zonk on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 06:53:40 PM PDT

    •  OK - I think this is it... (0+ / 0-)

      A couple weeks ago, the survey was "Drawing a new road map for growth"...  The response deadline was about 10 days ago....  

      "This survey will explore the current state of business and economic recovery, as well as the workforce changes and talent challenges companies now face".

      Unfortunately, I didn't complete it by the deadline so I'm afraid I can't confirm... but it sure sounds like this is it.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 07:23:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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