What Health Care Bill? Who Dies Without Insurance?

The week is beginning and we will hear a lot about health care because the Democrats have about six weeks to work something out with Republicans or they will just ram it through and hope for the best. Assuming, of course, they can get enough Democrat votes to pass it.

But Nancy Pelosi says that we don’t understand it and that there is no bill to understand.

“You think people don’t understand the bill?” asked CNN’s Candy Crowley.

“No, I don’t think — there isn’t a bill,” said Pelosi. “When we have a bill, which we will in a matter of days, then that is the bill that we can sell. Our bill, the House and the Senate bill, had major differences which we are hoping now to reconcile. And then when we have a bill — you — as I say, you can bake the pie, you can sell the pie, but you have to have a pie to sell. And when we do we will take it out there.” Washington Examiner

Maybe I am mistaken but did not the House, the one she is Speaker of, pass a health care bill? Did not the Senate pass one as well? The problem is that they cannot reconcile their two versions into something that Democrats will vote for and they certainly cannot pass it in the Senate with Scott Brown now the 41st vote.

So when things are not going well Pelosi can lie and say there is no bill when what she means is they do not have a bill that they can pass without using reconciliation (and passing is not a certainty).

This is the kind of double speak we hear all the time. It is the kind of stupidity that makes one wonder how the scatter brained Pelosi ever rose to such a high position.

They had better hurry, forty-five thousand people die each year because they don’t have health insurance. At least that is what they claim. This claim is based on an old study that did not control for factors such as how long people were without, what their health status was and their lifestyle (smoking, etc). A more recent study demonstrates that you are at no higher a risk of dying without health insurance than you are with it:

The possibility that no one risks death by going without health insurance may be startling, but some research supports it. Richard Kronick of the University of California at San Diego’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, an adviser to the Clinton administration, recently published the results of what may be the largest and most comprehensive analysis yet done of the effect of insurance on mortality. He used a sample of more than 600,000, and controlled not only for the standard factors, but for how long the subjects went without insurance, whether their disease was particularly amenable to early intervention, and even whether they lived in a mobile home. In test after test, he found no significantly elevated risk of death among the uninsured.

This result is not, perhaps, as shocking as it seems. Health care heals, but it also kills. Someone who lacked insurance over the past few decades might have missed taking their Lipitor, but also their Vioxx or Fen-Phen. According to one estimate, 80,000 people a year are killed just by “nosocomial infections”—infections that arise as a result of medical treatment. The only truly experimental study on health insurance, a randomized study of almost 4,000 subjects done by Rand and concluded in 1982, found that increasing the generosity of people’s health insurance caused them to use more health care, but made almost no difference in their health status.

If gaining insurance has a large effect on people’s health, we should see outcomes improve dramatically between one’s early and late 60s. Yet like the Kronick and Rand studies, analyses of the effect of Medicare, which becomes available to virtually everyone in America at the age of 65, show little benefit. In a recent review of the literature, Helen Levy of the University of Michigan and David Meltzer of the University of Chicago noted that the latest studies of this question “paint a surprisingly consistent picture: Medicare increases consumption of medical care and may modestly improve self-reported health but has no effect on mortality, at least in the short run.” The Atlantic

There is no doubt that reform is needed and there is no doubt that health care costs a lot of money. Proper reform can reduce the cost of health insurance and keep it out of government control. But government wants control and this is why studies that falsely show all these people dying without insurance are used. They are the fear aspect the left wants to inject into this to get you to sign over your health care to a government employee.

Remember that many more people who have health insurance die each year than those who do not have it and lack of coverage does not increase the risk of death.

People have access to health care in this country. The only thing that we are working on is who pays for it and how.

Government wants to take it over and control your life. By using common sense reform we can reduce the cost of health care and keep government out of our lives

Personal responsibility is a hard concept for many people especially those who have been raised to rely on the government as their parents. But personal responsibility will get us a long way in life.

In this case it will stop the progressive goal of further ruling our lives (and driving us to Socialism) and it will give us better, less expensive choices.

Just say NO to government controlled health care.

Big Dog


If you enjoy what you read consider signing up to receive email notification of new posts. There are several options in the sidebar and I am sure you can find one that suits you. If you prefer, consider adding this site to your favorite feed reader. If you receive emails and wish to stop them follow the instructions included in the email.

Print This Post

If you enjoy what you read consider signing up to receive email notification of new posts. There are several options in the sidebar and I am sure you can find one that suits you. If you prefer, consider adding this site to your favorite feed reader. If you receive emails and wish to stop them follow the instructions included in the email.

3 Responses to “What Health Care Bill? Who Dies Without Insurance?”

  1. Darrel says:

    Bigd: “Remember that many more people who have health insurance die each year than those who do not have it…>>

    What a ridiculous and entirely irrelevant thing to say. Did you know many more right handed people die than left handed people? For pity sake.

    Bigd: “…and lack of coverage does not increase the risk of death.”>>

    Actually, I get the Atlantic and I had already read that article. It was a fluff piece written by a non-expert full of weasel words and it certainly did not conclude what you claim here.

    The study I have referred to several times is the National Academies which references 18,000 here. This is the most conservative estimate, several others are much higher.
    You are NOT going to knock down peer reviewed science of this caliber with an editor hacking a pop piece together in a coffee table magazine!

    As one commenter on that article noted at your link:

    “You haven’t incorporated Ezra Klein’s and McWilliams critiques to adoption of “immediate” mortality as an adequate measure of health insurance coverage.

    Quoting from McWilliams:

    . From the sizable observational literature, McArdle selects just one negative study to suggest insurance coverage may not affect mortality (Kronick 2009). Yet several other observational studies that controlled for an equally robust set of characteristics have consistently demonstrated a 35-43% greater risk of death within 8-10 years for adults who were uninsured at baseline and even higher relative risks for older uninsured adults with treatable chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension (Baker et al. 2006; McWilliams et al. 2004; Wilper et al. 2009).”

    More here.

  2. Big Dog says:

    Lack of health insurance does not increase odds of dying.

    And the coffee table magazine cited the studies. Are they wrong? Are they not peer reviewed? Are they in error because they were cited by a coffee table magazine?

    That would indicate that global warming studies are not valid if cited in a coffee table magazine. Makes no sense, does it?

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “Lack of health insurance does not increase odds of dying.”>>

      Actually it does. So says the National Academy of Science, the most prestigious science organization in the country.

      Bigd: “…the coffee table magazine cited the studies.”>>

      No, the coffee table magazine cherry picked one study (Kronick 2009) which the quote from McWilliams above, rebutted.

      Bigd: Are they wrong?>>

      Often studies disagree. Often they are put together or funded by those with an agenda. That’s why it is best for us non experts to look to an independent umbrella science organization with the highest credentials and have them consider all of the peer reviewed studies and draw their conclusion. That’s what the National Academy of Science did. That’s what your coffee table magazine did not do and wouldn’t even be capable of doing if they wanted to.