A must-pass House spending bill aims to stop the Census bureau from changing the way it surveys health insurance coverage.
Conservatives have blasted the change, announced by the Census this year, as an attempt to distort data on the effects of ObamaCare. The change will likely result in fewer people being counted as lacking health insurance this year.
The Census said
the change to its Current Population Survey was based on science and was a long time in coming.
The original Census explanation said that the change in methods will apply to data from 2013 as well as 2014, allowing an accurate picture of coverage before and after ObamaCare launched.
"This change was announced in September 2013 and implemented because the evidence showed that reengineering the questions provides demonstrably more accurate results. The Census Bureau only implements changes in survey methodology based on research, testing, and evidence presented for peer review," it said.
But conservative lawmakers and activists say the change will make ObamaCare look more effective than it has really been.
It conditions funding for the Census on it using the same questions for the survey that it has previously used.
states “the Bureau of the Census shall collect data for the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey using the same health insurance questions included in previous years, prior to the revised questions implemented in the Current Population Survey beginning in February 2014.”
The provision would reinstate the old questions for fiscal 2015 and would not be binding on the Census for this data due out in September of this year.
--This report was updated at 3:54 p.m.