It’s always nice to see MSM publishing campaign materials for Democrats.
Today’s edition: Why we need Democrats and their universal healthcare
From the Washington Post:
A record number of Americans are without health insurance, according to new U.S. Census Bureau statistics released Tuesday.
And why is this happening? Evil companies targeting poor employees, of course.
Some of the trend can be explained by employers who are curtailing coverage or making it too costly for lower income workers to afford, the report said.
But there are some other things “the report said” which don’t seem important enough to be quoted in the article. Things like the accuracy of the data upon which this entire report, and thus the article, is based. Here’s a paragraph from Appendix C (page 65) of the actual report itself:
“Health insurance coverage is likely to be underreported on the current Population Survey (CPS). While underreporting affects most, if not all, surveys, underreporting of health insurance coverage on the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) appears to be a larger problem than in other national surveys that ask about insurance. Some reasons for the disparity may include the fact that income, not health insurance, is the main focus of the ASEC questionnaire. In addition, the ASEC collects health insurance information by asking in February through April about the previous year’s coverage. Asking annual retrospective questions appears to cause few problems when collecting income data (possibly because the interview period is close to when people pay their taxes), but it may be less than ideal when asking about health insurance coverage. Compared with other national surveys, the CPS estimate of the number of people without health insurance more closely approximates the number of people who are uninsured at a specific point in time during the year than the number of people uninsured for the entire year.”
But who’s really going to go find the report and read all of that anyway? The reporter’s certainly don’t think many will. Besides, that might get in the way of the campaign message.
And to further bolster the case for universal healthcare, the article’s author collects quotes from three “experts” who decry the current state of healthcare based on the report quoted in the article.
“Experts” like Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, who say:
“It’s a surprising jump in the numbers of uninsured. To get a 2.2 million hike in one year is pretty disturbing. We are getting a middle-class squeeze — it’s not just families in poverty… Either employers aren’t covering the kids, or the premium share is too high for families to afford.”
…or Gail Shearer, health policy director at Consumers Union, who says:
“This substantial increase in the uninsured should get everyone’s attention. We should not have to wait until the next president takes office to deal with this very real problem. Congress and the President ought to commit to expanding coverage now.”
…or Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy at the consumer advocacy group Families USA, who says:
“The numbers took my breath away. The increase is more dramatic than we’ve seen. When you consider how large this increase is, I would think this would build momentum, feed the fire for the health care reform debate that we hope we will see in 2009 under leadership from the White House and the Congress,”
Stoll thinks the report will spur the debate over health care and serve as a catalyst for some form of universal health insurance.
Other information the author feels is not worthy of mentioning… the fact that Kathleen Stoll only contributes to Democrats, Gail Shearer only contributes to Democrats and Karen Davis only contributes to Democrats.
So we have a study whose own words claim it’s not a reliable source for the information being touted combined with a journalist who only gets quotes from Democrat supporters to come up with a MSM article promoting the need for a key element of the Democrat platform.
Bias? Nope… move along, nothing to see here.
There are some other issues with the data…
First, the uninsured vary, ranging from children to illegal immigrants to people in their late 50s and early 60s with pre-existing medical conditions who cannot find affordable insurance - or any insurance.
• An estimated 80% of the uninsured are American citizens.
Translation… 20% of those deemed “uninsured” are not even American citizens. This follows my post from a few days ago.
Another contention - one made by some Republican state legislators in Wisconsin - is that many of the uninsured can afford coverage.
To the disbelief of liberals, there are some who choose not to pay for insurance. Insurance, afterall, is a choice… do you pay for financial safety against a catastrophic health event or do you save your money and risk that you can afford to cover it out of pocket should it happen. And liberals claim to be pro-choice…