MSNBC Lets Dem's False 45,000 'Uninsurance Deaths' Go Unchallenged

March 19th, 2010 3:54 PM

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, for one, does not want blood on his hands from 45,000 Americans who allegedly die every year due to lack of health insurance. And MSNBC’s Alex Witt, for one, doesn’t think it worth questioning the veracity of that number.

“There are a lot of problems I have with the bill, primarily it doesn’t go far enough. I really wish we had the public option in this bill,” Nadler said in a March 18 interview on MSNBC.

“There are some other problems with it but bottom line – bottom line – the HarvardMedicalSchool study tells us that 45,000 American per year die for lack of access to health insurance,” Nadler said. “A ‘No’ vote on this bill is a vote to kill 45,000 American a year. A ‘Yes’ vote is a vote to save their lives – everything else is secondary.”

That the famous study by the HarvardMedicalSchool and Cambridge Health Alliance has been a reliable Democrat talking point for months. But its estimate that 44,789 “excess deaths” are associated with lack of health insurance annually is rarely questioned by the media. They should be.

"The findings in this research are based on faulty methodology and the death risk is significantly overstated," NationalCenter for Policy Analysis president John C. Goodman has explained. "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."

Researchers of the Harvard based their conclusion upon national surveys participants filled from 1986-1994. After checking how many of the adults died by the year 2000, researchers proceeded to make the unbelievable leap in assumption and faith that the uninsured stayed uninsured for all those years – and died as a result.

“Like unemployment, uninsurance happens to many people for short periods of time. Most people who are uninsured regain insurance with one year,” Goodman wrote. “The authors of the study did not track what happened to the insurance status of the subjects over the decade examined, what medical care they received or even the causes of their deaths.”

In regards to socialized medicine – or as Keith Olbermann’s selling point puts it “Medicare for all” – studies from RAND and the Employment Policies Institute do not do Democrats and Olbermann any favor.

The Employment Policies Institute found that the involuntarily uninsured were only 3 percent more likely to die over a fourteen year period, and found that people enrolled in Medicaid have a much higher mortality rate than the uninsured. As Goodman put it, “In other words, Medicaid enrollment reduces life expectancy rather than increasing it!”

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