Friday, June 10, 2011

When Research Isn't

The Incidental Economist:
[A recent report on the number of companies who will drop their health insurance plans due to the ACA was released but the research firm] McKinsey has refused to release details of its survey methodology that backs the finding that 30% of employers intend to drop coverage as a result of the ACA. By now you know that 30% is a dramatically higher figure than any other credible organization has suggested. It’s not what we’ve seen in Massachusetts.
Basically, beware of researchers who won't tell you how they reached their conclusions.  One of the hallmarks of peer reviewed research is open methodology.  McKinsey's refusal to release their methodology is deeply troubling and calls into question their conclusions.
If we are willing to accept something indistinguishable from fiction, someone, I am sure, will begin to tell us things that aren’t true. If you want to believe in fiction, fine. But you shouldn’t be surprised to find that the rest of us living in reality find your claims of the existence of fire-breathing, shape-shifting, unicorns to be incredible.

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