We’ve likely all ended up on those surveys or calculator websites and have a sneaky suspicion that the information that we’re entering isn’t going through some complex algorithm. It’s often just a marketing tool to make us feel like our data had some input in finding the “best fit” answer or solution. In reality, the tool has already been programmed to spit out the answer that the marketer wants us to get.
This idea has now hit mainstream politics and features on the “Medicare For All Calculator” on the presidential campaign website of Senator Elizabeth Warren.
It didn’t take us long to discover the so-called “calculator” doesn’t actually calculate anything.
The Medicare For All Calculator is a simple tool that tells you that whatever you’re currently spending on healthcare per year, you’re not going to have to pay if she becomes President.
For example, if you tell it you spend $1,000 per year on healthcare, the “calculator” spits out an answer that, “You’d bring home an estimated $1,000 more per year under Elizabeth’s Medicare for All plan.”
And if you tell it you spend $69,420 per year on healthcare, it tells you that, “You’d bring home an estimated $69,420 more per year under Elizabeth’s Medicare for All plan.”
Those who spend $999,999,999 per year will be glad to know that if Warren becomes president, they’re going to “bring home an estimated $999,999,999 more per year under Elizabeth’s Medicare for All plan.” At least, that’s according to Warren’s “calculator”.
With Warren’s calculator suggesting that whatever citizens currently pay for healthcare will be the same amount in extra funds to “bring home” at the end of the year if she becomes President, the page doesn’t explain how healthcare will actually be paid for.
It’s not yet known whether Warren’s tool is simply broken or whether it’s intentionally misleading on purpose. It wouldn’t be the first time a Presidential candidate has promised the electorate the impossible, but Warren’s “calculator” gaff comes as a time when she’s actively pushing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take down the “misleading” ads of her competitor.