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David (Catron): I’m getting some of that too. A letter-to-the-editor to the American Spectator regarding an article I wrote about a Moore press conference came with the title “Hogberg’s Health Money Hog blog,” pretty clearly implying that I must be paid off. The letter came from Marilyn Clement, National Coordinator of Healthcare-Now. She started her letter thusly:
I’m so excited by your blog. I’ve been waiting to see who would come to the rescue of the insurance companies.
I found that amusing because (1) I did not defend insurance companies in my article on Moore’s press conference — I defended profit in the health care system; and (2) while I’m sure I’ve said a nice thing or two about insurance companies somewhere, generally speaking I’m not a huge fan of them because they often stand in the way of free-market reforms that I favor.
But, alas, what do you expect from those given to hysteria? And believe me, Ms. Clement can be quite hysterical. I got into an email exchange with her, and in response to my question regarding her claim that there were waiting lists in the U.S., she replied:
More than 50 million people –- those totally uninsured and those who think they are insured (until they get sick) — wait and wait –- often until they die. Among those who wait are the 18 million or more who die every year (according to the Institute of Medicine) simply because they have no health insurance. Multiply that by the number of years the Bush administration has been in place –- and compare that to the increase in profits by the insurance companies and HMO’s.
18 million? Well, let me do the math. Over six years of the Bush Administration, that would be 108 million who died due to lack of health insurance. That’s quite a shocking number! But here’s something I don’t understand. According to the CDC in 2004, the latest year available, the U.S. had only 2.4 million deaths total. Assuming that number is about the same for all six years of the Bush Administration, then the “official” tally is only 14.4 million deaths. So where did the Bush Administration hide the other 93.6 million bodies?
Ms. Clement replied that she had meant to write “thousand” not “million.”
Who knows? Maybe math wasn’t her strongest subject.
+ May 2007
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