October 28, 2009

44,000 Ghosts

Perhaps single-payer health proponents don't think anyone checks their facts. For that matter, democrats in general seem to think the "average American" spends little to no time questioning the "facts" and figures they put forth to bolster their causes. A few cases:

* Is the Earth really warming up at an alarming rate, such that if we don't shoot atmosphere-sustaining gases into space we're all going to die? No, but Al Gore would have you believe it, based on his faulty temperature statistics. In fact, the Earth's temperature is cooling down, which is completely normal, and the heating/cooling process does not necessarily rely on humans to either help or hinder.

* Is welfare a useful, temporary tool for minority and low economic class citizens to utilize while they continue to search for work? No, it actually fosters a mindset of dependence on the government as well as indifference to or defeatism in finding work. Fact is, when President Clinton cut welfare benefits, more people returned to work, including unwed mothers and high-school educated poor, two groups that democrats had long been trying to encourage into the workforce. Who knew that the motivation people needed to work was simply less government assistance and more available employment?

As usual, behind the healthcare debate is another democrat who knows more than you and, under the guise of watching your back, blatantly disregards your ability to think critically about the issue. Instead, he chooses to persuade you with emotional appeals, citing huge numbers and saying that these represent those who die every year without health insurance!

Consider that when the numbers game is played by the other side, it's immediately considered fabrication and unworthy of even checking for validity. For example, one might mention in an article that almost 50 million abortions have been performed between 1973 and 2009 in the United States alone. Worldwide, that number skyrockets to over 960 million since 1973 (and through the end of 2008). Those are guaranteed deaths, nay, murders committed for a vast number of reasons (the least likely being that the life of the mother is in danger). But as soon as you mention that its unborn babies being killed, politicians roll their eyes. "Don't make this a political issue!" someone might even demand.

Unfortunately, health care run by the government by definition IS a political issue, which is precisely why so many people don't like the sound of it. Politics come first over policy, with our increasingly socialistic Obama administration mandating that everyone have health insurance. When the command caused citizens to revolt, Nancy Pelosi and her cronies switched tactics, parading fellow democrats out to repeat emotionally-charged statistics of the "number of Americans that die every year from a lack of health insurance." Tragically, and predictably, this number is completely convoluted, having its origins in a study that the practitioners admitted was wrought with potentially highly inaccurate information.

Below is an excerpt from Michelle Malkin's recent article, "The bogus death statistic that won't die," which you can read completely by clicking on this link. She cites the statements of both Alan Grayson, the representative from Florida who oft quotes the 44,000 figure, as well as the scientists who conducted the research behind the convoluted number:

"Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has found his calling: death demagogue. First, he accused Republicans of wanting sick patients to "die quickly." Next, he likened health insurance problems to a "holocaust in America." Now, he's unveiled a new website entitled "namesofthedead.com" in memory of the "more than 44,000 Americans [who] die simply because they have no health insurance."

To boil it all down in plain English: The single-payer scientists had no way of assessing whether the survey participants received insurance coverage between the time they answered the questionnaires and the time they died. They had no way of assessing whether the deaths could have been averted with health insurance coverage. A significant portion of those classified as "uninsured" may not have been uninsured, based on past studies that actually did verify insurance status.

But the Himmelstein team just took the rate of uninsurance from the original study (3.3 percent), applied it to census data and voila: More than 44,000 Americans are dying from lack of insurance."

And, just to give you a glimpse of how desperate Pelosi and co. are in getting their bill to pass, here are a few submissions* to a nationwide video campaign using children for both emotional appeal and to simultaneously educate them to be dependent on big government. Right on?

*Organizing for America, Team Obama & the DNC’s perpetual campaign arm, is holding a health reform video contest.

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