Beware of Leftist Tricks, Lies & Bogus US Health Care Bashing Studies

Here is my latest column at American Issues Project:

Beware of the Bogus US Health Care Bashing Studies

August was a brutal month for democrats. The economy continued to decline. The unemployment rate hovered at 9.5 percent. The 2010 budget deficit forecast was revised up by a whopping 19 percent to $1.5 trillion. The stimulus did not snap the economy out of its recession as promised. The Congressional polling numbers were down. Even Barack Obama could not escape the tsunami of bad news. His approval rating sank to the lowest level of his presidency to 46 percent.

To top it all off, the tea party protesters hammered Congressional democrats all month long on their planned takeover of nation’s health care system. This was supposed to be their month to win back public opinion but instead, in town hall after town hall, the democrats were pounded over their health care rationing plan. Even the attacks by the democratic leadership on the protesters, calling them un-American and comparing them to Nazis and mobsters, could not sway the American public. By the end of August 53 percent of nationwide voters were opposed to the democratic health care plan.

It will be tough for democrats to push their nationalized health care bill through Congress with an unpopular bill, an unpopular Congress and a sinking president. But, they’re not backing down. Despite their past failings this year they are determined to ram their bill through Congress this fall. And, to help turn public opinion in their direction they are citing several bogus studies to persuade voters that the United States needs a nationalized health care system now more than ever.

One questionable study that is gaining a lot of traction with the democratic politicians is the medical bankruptcy study. This study, Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses. Of those who filed for bankruptcy, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.

John C. Goodman, the “Father of Health Savings Accounts”, debunked this study in a recent posting on his blog.

President Obama frequently parrots the thoroughly discredited “statistic” that one third of personal bankruptcies are medical bankruptcies. The propagandists of “medical bankruptcy” have now upped the ante with a new study published this week, in which Drs. David Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler, and colleagues, report that 62 percent of personal bankruptcies in 2007 were “medical bankruptcies.” The authors are leaders of the Physicians for a National Health Program, who have promoted government-monopoly medicine for decades.

As with previous studies of medical bankruptcy, this study puts forward a number of definitions of “medical bankruptcy” and defines any bankruptcy with any one of these conditions as suffering medical bankruptcy. The one that immediately stands out is “medical bills over $5,000 or 10 percent of household income on medical care.” (So, if Donald Trump had gone bankrupt in 2007 with $5001 of medical bills, he would be “medically bankrupt.”)

You can read the rest on the latest bogus health care studies here. There is also a list of my recent columns on this page.

Thanks to Tom W. and Granny for their input.

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