Wotka World Wide

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More junk science to bolster the health care reform effort, this time with the claim that 45,000 die a year from lack of insurance. The bullshit alarm immediately went off when I heard that one, and here is the real story:

John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, agreed that the study was flawed. “The subjects were interviewed only once and the study tries to link their insurance status at that time to mortality a decade later. Yet over the period, the authors have no idea whether subjects were insured or uninsured, what kind of medical care they received, or even cause of death,” he said in a statement.

NPCA noted that a “more careful study” completed by the Congressional Budget Office found that low-income people without insurance had a 3 percent higher chance of death, but found no difference among higher income earners.

One of the study’s co-authors, Dr. David Himmelstein, is a strong proponent of a single-payer system. In addition to working as associate professor of medicine at Harvard University, Dr. Himmelstein is also founder and spokesman for Physicians for a National Health Program.

He testified before Congress earlier this year in favor of a single-payer system, saying, "Our 16,000 physician members support nonprofit, single-payer national health insurance because of overwhelming evidence that lesser reforms will fail." His health care advocacy work was not disclosed in a press release for this study.
It is so easy to create a headline these days. But they usually never stand up under any scrutiny.


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