For anyone who thought I was being overdramatic...
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
IMPORTANT: I cannot guarantee accurate federal data after 1/20/17.
...HOWEVER, their bosses...the HHS Secretary and, I presume, the head of CMS...will be appointed by Donald J. Trump and confirmed by a 100% Republican-controlled Senate.
Given Trump's long, disturbing history of flat-out misstatements (aka "making sh*t up out of whole cloth"), and the type of sycophants he's likely to put into place, I can't guarantee with 100% certainty that the numbers spouted off by them are going to bear any connection with reality. Maybe they'll be accurate. Maybe they'll be off slightly. Maybe they'll be completely removed from any actual numbers. Who the hell knows?
Earlier today it was reported that Ben Carson was being considered for HHS Secretary. Then the rumor mill turned to Bobby Jindal. At the moment, I'm hearing it could be Rep. Tom Price, who (like pretty much every other GOP member of Congress) despises the ACA. That doesn't guarantee that he'll Make Sh*t Up, of course, but under a Trump regime, anything's possible. Anything.
Anyway, I'll do my best to analyze/report the numbers as accurately as possible, praying the entire time that I'm not simply an unpaid version of Winston Smith, substituting one piece of nonsense for another.
The Internet Archive is building a Canadian copy to protect itself from Trump
The Internet Archive, a digital library nonprofit that preserves billions of webpages for the historical record, is building a backup archive in Canada after the election of Donald Trump. Today, it began collecting donations for the Internet Archive of Canada, intended to create a copy of the archive outside the United States.
“On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,” writes founder Brewster Kahle. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.”
Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.
The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.
This is not paranoia. This is not hyperbole. This is not an overreaction. This is real, and this is now.
When George W. Bush appointed the utterly unqualified Michael "Brownie" Brown (former experience with emergency management: head of the Arabian Horse Association) to head up FEMA, not many paid attention...and while he later proved to be utterly incompetent after Hurricane Katrina, at least (to my knowledge) he wasn't openly hostile towards the idea of helping people after a natural disaster struck.
In other words, Brown might have been incompetent, but at least he didn't actually actively attempt to destroy the agency he was running. He simply didn't give much of a crap one way or the other.
Such is not the case with Donald J. Trump. He's going out of his way to appoint people who aren't simply bad or unqualified for the job, but who are openly opposed to the very missions of those agencies.
So yes, I am deeply concerned that Tom Price, Trump's pick for HHS Secretary, may very well either order a) vital healthcare data stop being released altogether; b) doctoring (no pun intended) of any data which is released; and/or c) doctoring and/or deletion of some or all existing, historical healthcare data archived over the past several decades.
As I quoted at the time:
But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head.
For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at 145 million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than 145 millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain.
--George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
Here are just a few of the government websites which contain tons of priceless date which needs to be preserved (even if future data proves to be lackign or doctored):
- HealthCare.gov (not so much about public records, but certainly the back end contains vital data on enrollees/plans/etc)
...and so forth.
(As an aside, I could certainly use some assistance in my own efforts to continue documenting ACA/healthcare developments in the Trump era as well)