Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bring out your dead!

That famous line from Monty-Python sounds like Rep. (D) Alan Grayson's call today to go register names of people who you think died because they didn't have medical insurance. ( ) . I can just see him now, walking along a cart, yelling out " Bring out your dead" as he clangs a bell.

He claims that over 44,000 people die due to their lack of medical insurance. These numbers are from a study called;
Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults . This study claims that there is a greater chance of dying if you don't have insurance. The chances are 40% more according to Grayson, but what does that really mean, does it mean that those 44,000 people wouldn't have died if they had medical insurance?

I reviewed the study and found that there was one thing missing, the study does nothing to show why the people didn't have insurance. It didn't say that they couldn't buy it or that they were just choosing not to buy it. Over 15 million of the uninsured are able to buy it, but they choose not to.

The study, which used 9,004 people for this portion, showed that 351 of them died over the study period, or 3.1%. No where does it say why or how they died. The age group was 17 - 64 years old. There is a myriad of reasons for folks to die, many not related to health care. But we don't know how they died, so by deduction this study concludes that it's because they, the 78 that died who didn't have medical insurance, died only for that reason.

The top 3 reasons for deaths of people ages 15 to 24 have nothing to do with anything medical, they are; (1) accidents 51.8%, (2) homicides, 21.3% and (3) suicides 16.3%. The study also shows that just being male, gives men the same risk as not having insurance. But is that risk, really?

200 of the folks that had insurance in the study died, or 3.0% over the 14 years of the study. That was 200 of the 6,655 insured. 78 of the folks died that didn't have insurance or 3.3% over the 14 years. There were 2,350 of these folks. That means that 7 more people may have died because, according to the study, they didn't have medical insurance. (0.3% X 2,350=7.05) But we still don't know why they didn't have insurance. Many young people choose not to buy insurance because they are healthy, yet they die from other reasons than health care many more times than older Americans; could they be a larger sample of the uninsured in this study? It doesn't say.

If only a few of these were because of accident or the other top 3 for young people, then that can change the results dramatically. The study accounts for smoking, drinking, body mass and other factors, but if a person chooses not to have insurance, a risk, what other risks do they take. Do they not go see the doctor because they choose not to, many guys think they're tough, they'll get over what ever it is. Just adjust the number of folks that died in the uninsured group by as little as 10% or 7 folks and you even out the playing field.

I go through all this to make this statement. Don't pay attention to Alan Grayson and his grandstanding, he is the distraction, he is the flash powder that draws your attention away from the big picture, the tricks and down-right misdeeds of the leadership of the House and Senate and the White House. These are the folks we need an apology from, they are the ones pushing through a bill, over 1,500 pages, that will be the begin of, and I quote, "Fundamentally Transforming the United States of America".

And make no doubts about it, this is their goal, no matter what:

He has a plan, and it's working perrrrrrfectly!

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