The federal government is gearing up to choose vendors to find out what public exchange users think of the exchanges and their qualified health plan (QHP) coverage. The government thinks of the first round of QHP “enrollee experience” surveys, which is supposed to take place from January 2015 through April 2015, as a survey beta test.
Some people didn’t want the government to let anyone release the consumer survey beta test data. The government is not planning to release the data itself, because it understands that there may be concerns about survey nuts and bolts, but it will let the exchanges and QHPs post the data, if they want.
On the one hand: I loathe grades myself. I live in terror of them. If I go to the website that counts article page views, I can spend all day trying to look at the numbers in some way that will make them seem bigger.
Of course, the page view counting system must have huge technical flaws. Otherwise, the system would show that all of my articles get millions of views per day.
If I get good numbers, I wonder what system error or hacking led to the good numbers. Have hackers decided to use one of my more successful PPACA articles as a platform for doing something inappropriate?
But, on the other hand, part of the whole idea of having an exchange, or marketplace, rather than a feudal lord just telling us what to do, is that markets give people a way to share cold hard truths.
See also: On the Third Hand: Venezuela
People don’t actually want to view my blog entries more than they want to read other sites’ slideshows about cats that are good at carpentry.
People don’t always read articles for the right reasons or because they even understand the articles. Maybe sometimes they give one article they hate many clicks because of a Web linking error.
If there are methodological errors in a survey, maybe one of the best ways to identify those errors is to show the messed up survey results to as many people as possible.
On the third hand, maybe all the exchanges and QHPs really have to do is give us complete, accurate paid sales figures. Instead of using surveys to get try to get inside the consumers’ heads, let money speak for its flat green self.