Semi-Off Topic: Michigan state senator busted for ly... (er..."incorrect information") in Op-Ed...AGAIN.

Hey, remember this guy?

One week ago I posted en entry titled "Color me shocked: Michigan GOP State Senator spewing nonsense", which documented an appallingly erroneous Op-Ed by Republican State Senator Patrick Colbeck riddled with basic mathematical errors about the Affordable Care Act.

Among the many factual errors included in Colbeck's essay were such gems as:

  • He claimed that the ACA is costing $1.35 trillion per year. It's actually priced at less than 1/10th that price ($120 billion per year).
  • He claimed that the ACA has insured an additional 19 million people, which is oddly generous as compared with my own estimate of 14 million or even the Obama administration's estimate of 16.1 million.
  • He claimed that the ACA is "still leaving 36 million people" without insurance, while failing to acknowledge that 4 million of those are stuck in the Medicaid Gap created by Republican-run states, while another 6.3 million are undocumented immigrants who aren't legally eligible for coverage under the law.
  • He claimed that the ACA is costing over $71,000 per enrollee per year, when the actual number is closer to $5,000 per person.
  • He claimed that a "high quality policy" can be purchased on the non-ACA market for $6,000/year, which may or may not be true depending on the person.
  • He claimed that "159 organizations" which stand "between a patient and a doctor" were created by the ACA, which is utter nonsense.
  • He claimed that the state of Washington launched a program which magically cut both costs and hospitalization rates in half, without citing any source or providing any information about what this mystery program might be.

As you'll recall, I corrected all of this garbage and called Colbeck out on it very publicly. In response, the Detroit News corrected some of it (but not all), but failed to acknowledge any of the corrections (not to mention that they ignored the Op-Ed I had submitted in which I documented the corrections). After being blasted for this, they finally, grudgingly, at least aknowledged that yes, there had been some corrections (sadly, their "correction" note in some ways made it even worse).

You might be forgiven for thinking that perhaps Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck was simply an innocent victim of misinformation on this particular subject.

Well, guess what?

Colbeck is now at it again. He recently published an op-ed in the Canton Observer attempting to convince readers that everything is fine with education funding, Republicans have actually INCREASED it, and that the problems that Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) are having are their own goddam fault.

However, shortly after it was published, the Canton Observer posted this on their Facebook page:

Dear Plymouth Observer Facebookers: For all of you who have wondered where Patrick Colbeck's column went: It was pulled down because it contained incorrect information about the Plymouth-Canton schools. He will be offered the opportunity to rewrite the column.

Posted by The Canton Observer on Sunday, June 28, 2015

Read the article at Eclectablog for the rest. It's unclear at this point just how extensive Colbeck's "misinformation" is in this case, but it had to be pretty bad if they yanked the whole thing (and judging by the Detroit News incident, that sounds pretty likely).

The most obvious error appears to be that he's claiming the school district has added 15 administrative hires over the past few years, when in fact it turns out they only have 6.5 more full-time administrators than they did at the start point (1/2 = a part-time employee). Apparently they did add a bunch of people, but also lost a bunch so the net increase is only 43% as high as he claims. There may be other issues as well.

In the meantime...

Only he knows for sure how he came to post inaccurate information to defend his position that the P-CCS is responsible for their own financial troubles and he is standing by his original post and even has it on his webpage. Meanwhile, the piece is still down at the Canton Observer.