Always consider the source. It’s one of the first rules you learn in journalism school.
Now I’m thinking about adding another: Surveys aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. (Or in the case of McKinsey and Co.’s, what it’s NOT printed on.)
It all started about two weeks ago when McKinsey published the results of a survey they conducted – covertly, apparently – with several hundred employers who expressed concerns about their ability to continue offering health insurance coverage for their employees once the federal mandate kicks in.
Their “findings” that roughly a third of employers would drop coverage in 2014 sent Democrats in a frenzy and left the media – or at least this editor – scratching their heads.
Who did they talk to? What were their questions? Where was the rest of the survey data? The consultants wouldn’t say. Their covert, “nothing to see here, folks,” demeanor reeked of a certain lawmaker’s response to a mistweeted photo a few weeks back. It just didn’t pass the smell test. Or Rep. John Boehner’s straight face test, for that matter.
In the meantime, at least two other surveys have dropped that directly contradict McKinsey’s original assessment. So which is it?
Well, like most things in life, I think the truth falls somewhere in that gray area in between. But it’s worth repeating: Check the source and the facts. And until McKinsey releases more than a copy of the actual survey, I reserve the right to remain skeptical.
Besides, I’m still in the middle of my own little survey. Just wait ’til you hear how it turns out.