Thursday, October 22, 2009

But then the White House is not much better

Yesterday I wrote about the insurance industry report that predicted large cost increases if the Senate’s health care proposal becomes law. I argued that the numbers presented in the report were of little merit because there was insufficient information to assess them independently.

The White House’s reaction to the report was also of little merit. Spokeswoman Linda Douglass denigrated it as a “self-serving analysis” that “completely ignores critical policies [that] will lower costs for those who have insurance”.

In dismissing the report on the grounds that it is self-serving, Ms. Douglass commits the Fallacy of Poisoning the Well. The fact that AHIP, the report’s sponsor, has a vested interest in its conclusion has no bearing on whether the conclusion is true.

The argument that the report ignores policies that will lower costs is incorrect on factual grounds. The only provision of the Senate proposal that is likely to lower costs is the (still unspecified) Medicare and Medicaid reductions. The AHIP analysis explicitly takes these reductions into account, but asserts that the savings are more than offset by the cost increases private insurers will face in taking up the slack.

The Logic Critic gives Linda Douglass…

Genuine and structured reasoning, but with fallacies or factual errors in main argument.2 Blades - Wrong.

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