3:16 PM, Apr 22, 2014 • By ALEX VUCKOVIC
The attempts of defenders of Obamacare to rouse the American people in favor of the doomed monstrosity have become more desperate and bizarre. The most recent example is taking place in Florida, where the sudden death of a young uninsured woman is being cited as an indictment of the Republican-controlled state legislature for refusing to approve the Medicaid expansion so generously being offered by the feds. If the woman in question had access to federally-mandated Medicaid, they argue, she would of course have gone in for preventative screening which would have revealed her cardiac abnormality and somehow saved her life. Once again, heartless Republicans are causing the death of innocents.
But wait, there’s more. A study is out which demonstrates that Republican legislatures across the country will kill more than 17,000 Americans annually with policies similar to Florida’s. It’s on the healthaffairs.org blog, where the article “Opting out of Medicaid Expansion: The Health and Financial Impacts,” explains it all. Real Harvard doctors, led by the estimable David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, crunch the numbers—and they could not possibly have an agenda as they look out for our welfare. Could they?
If the names sound familiar, there is a reason. The authors have made names for themselves over the last three decades as passionate proponents of a socialized, single payer health care system. It is nice of them to come to the aid of Obamacare given that it does not go nearly far enough in that direction for their tastes, but they are no doubt seeing the ACA as merely a steppingstone to a British NHS-system, which they would love to impose on the American body politic. In fact, a look back at their tactics demonstrates the power of cynicism coupled to appeals to authority, which has driven much of their so- called research. Their methods are fairly clear-cut: manipulate large databases in order to reach their preconceived conclusions, dress what comes out of the sausage machine up with dubious statistical tools, and, presto, they have demonstrated the superiority of socialized medicine.
Himmelstein perfected this method in a 2009 paper published in the American Journal of Public Health purporting to show that lack of health insurance killed almost 45,000 Americans annually. The paper was released early—and only to a sympathetic press corps!—and was instrumental in Democrats’ arguments leading to the passage of Obamacare in the Senate just before Scott Brown’s election would have prevented it. The paper is a masterpiece of manipulation and deserves to be analyzed in detail.
Himmelstein began with a statement of the problem experienced by the enlightened as they attempt to explain the workings of the world to the unwashed masses: “Despite widespread acknowledgement that enacting universal coverage would be life-saving, doing so remains politically thorny.” Not for long, though! He examined a database of 34,000 individuals followed for twelve years, and polled once during that time period for their insurance status. He then reduced the number of records to 9,000 through five retrospective steps. The patients’ insurance status was determined by self-report—almost 13,000 of the original cohort and more than 2,300 of the final group he analyzed reported not being covered by government insurance. He neglected to note that in previous surveys, 15 percent of patients who reported lack of insurance actually were covered by Medicaid, and another 10 percent were eligible for it but did not bother to sign up. This omission by itself renders the rest of his analysis meaningless, but let’s proceed to the painful end. He controlled for alcohol and tobacco use but not drug use or abuse when comparing the insured and uninsured. Given the high likelihood that a substance-abusing population would be less likely to have insurance and more likely to die early (the cumulative mortality associated with opiate dependency is more than 30 percent!), the deck was stacked. Even though he had access to death certificates of the 351 patients who died during the follow-up period, he did not compare causes of death between the insured and uninsured. Finally, after all was said and done, the death rate was 3.0 percent for the insured and 3.3 percent for the (nominally) uninsured. Put another way, 17.2 percent of the dead patients and 16.2 percent of the 8,653 living patients were uninsured. Multiply the 0.3 percent difference in death rates by the uninsured population at the time, and one gets 45,000 dead uninsured Americans!
7:01 AM, Apr 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Over two dozen widows in Alabama were dropped from their health care plans due to Obamacare, WHNT reports:
7:02 AM, Apr 4, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In the months and weeks leading up to March 31, the Obama administration pushed the message through press releases, tweets and blog posts that the last day in March was the final opportunity to get health insurance in 2014.
10:10 AM, Mar 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Angus King, an independent senator from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, said this morning on Fox that "There's no such thing as Obamacare."
Cash wasted on this clunker.10:45 AM, Mar 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The state of Maryland has encountered many setbacks in its attempt to get a health care website up and running smoothly. (Sound familiar?) And now, it has run up the white flag.
Obamacare penalizes the ‘wrong’ insurance 18 times more than no insurance.
7:10 AM, Mar 26, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Would President Obama prefer that you have health insurance of which he doesn’t approve, or no health insurance at all? Well, based on the penalties in play under his signature legislation, it would appear that he prefers for you to have no insurance at all than to have the “wrong” insurance (as defined, of course, by his administration).
Obamacare 'anything but affordable.'9:01 AM, Mar 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A pastor recently diagnosed with cancer, and who is covered under Obamacare, tells a local Iowa reporter that there's "no compassion in the Affordable Care Act."
"Back in January, Pastor Angran was diagnosed with stage three cancer of the esophagus. He had insurance, but because of a previous heart condition, it did not cover the treatments he needed for his cancer. He found that out just minutes before receiving life-saving chemo," says the local reporter.
2:16 PM, Mar 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The administration continues to jury rig the Affordable Care Act, which it sometimes calls “the law of the land.” The most recent fix is a 279 pager, released on Friday afternoon when the administration no doubt hoped most people would have better things to worry about. The 279 pages detailed changes in something called “risk corridors,” which is a charitable way of saying “bailout.”
8:12 AM, Mar 3, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The March 31, 2014 deadline for Obamacare open enrollment has been widely publicized since Healthcare.gov launched in October 2013, but
2:32 PM, Mar 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden tried to convince a young Canadian woman to sign up for Obamacare:
"Vice President Biden moving in close to sell the Affordable Care Act to a young woman outside Butterfield's Pancake House in Scottsdale," says the local reporter.
10:55 AM, Feb 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Hard to imagine anyone running for anything as a proud and unequivocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act. Anyone, that is, this side of Joe Biden. Democratic candidates for the House and Senate are already running ads asserting, essentially, I was for it before I said we had to fix it. And now, it seems that Hillary Clinton is making the same kind of noises in anticipation of 2016 and the fund raising and positioning that needs to be done between now and then.
12:42 PM, Feb 24, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Art in Embassies program of the U.S. State Department just turned 50 last year, but its growth in the last decade has been particularly dramatic if the insured value of the artwork is any indication. Although Art in Embassies purchases original works, such as the $1 million sculpture for the new U.S. Embassy in London, much of the artwork on display at various State Department installations throughout the world is in fact borrowed. In 2002, the State Department maintained a $20 million policy for artwork. By 2010, it had grown to $65 million. This year, the agency is looking to renew its current level of coverage, informing interested providers that "[i]nsurance must cover all items in any location in a Department of State facility abroad up to a value of $200,000,000." Last year, the $200 million policy cost the government $86,932.