Who knew that merely getting just over six dozen people together to support having Iowa "expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul" would earn coverage from the Associated Press -- and then be treated as some kind of groundswell of support?
Well, it did. The item involved, complete with a headline which makes it appears if some kind of poll might have gauged Iowans' sentiments on the topic -- the better to deceive those who only see the headline -- follows the jump (posted in full because of its brevity; HT Instapundit):
75 people represents perhaps 0.0032% of the Hawkeye State's adult population of 2.35 million (76.5% of the state's entire population of 3.074 million).
How a gathering of 75 people demonstrates that "Iowa residents are largely expressing support" is a complete mystery, at least to everyone except the AP reporter involved.
Shoot, dozens if not hundreds of schools in the Hawkeye State have 75 or more people in their cafeterias every single school day.
Of course there's still time for an expanded write-up -- seriously, 75 people deserve a lot more attention than four puny paragraphs -- but the unbylined AP report ignores several pertinent matters. One of the more important is the fact that a study of Medicaid program expansion in Oregon showed that expanding Medicaid access had no meaningful impact on improving medical outcomes. Instead, "those who enrolled in Medicaid spent a lot more on medical care than those who weren’t able to enroll, but didn’t significantly improve their health outcomes."
As to the AP item's claim, Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds remarks: "Watch AP turn “About 75 people” into a blanket expression of support for Obamacare from 'IOWANS.' Funny they never do that with Tea Party gatherings."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.