Written by Andrea Lafferty
January 13, 2010 - First term Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson (Orlando, FL) has claimed on the floor of the House that not providing universal health insurance to every American is like the Jewish Holocaust during World War II.
Grayson has also claimed that Republicans have a simple solution to the health care problem: They want Americans to "die quickly." When called to apologize for his irrational outburst, Grayson apologized to all of the dead who perished because they didn't have health insurance.
Grayson thinks Fox News and Republicans are enemies of the people and human freedom: "Fox News and their Republican collaborators are the enemy. They're the enemy of anybody who cares about health care, the enemy of anybody who wants energy independence or anything good for this country. And certainly, the enemy of peace, there's no doubt about that."
Andy Sere with the National Republican Campaign Committee characterized Grayson this way: "This is an unstable man who has come unhinged. The depths to which Alan Grayson will sink to defend his indefensible comments know no bounds."
Grayson's web site has a counter on the site allegedly showing the numbers of Americans who are dying daily because they don't have socialized medicine. For example, the figure on January 13 was 46,323. This is supposedly the number of people who have died just since January 1, 2010.
If this figure is accurate, that means there are at least 3,563 Americans dying every day for the lack of health insurance - or more than 1,300,495 dying each year.
If this is true, then within five years, more Americans will have died from no insurance than did Jews under Hitler's tyranny. How could mortuaries keep up with such a death toll? This would be as bad as the Black Plague, which hit Europe in 1347 and wiped out 50% of the population over a three year period.
There would have to be mass graves for so many people dying from lack of health insurance. Of course, this isn't true.
Grayson Is Shading The Truth
His counter is not true. In fact, it is even more wildly untrue that the usual liberal claims that between 18,000 and 45,000 Americans are dying yearly because they have no health insurance coverage.
The bogus 18,000-45,000 deaths comes from a report published by "Families USA" a group favoring socialist medicine. Its report "Dying for Coverage" makes the 18,000 claim and says the Urban Institute has "estimated" that 22,000 died for lack of coverage in 2006.
The National Center for Policy Analysis debunked the "Dying for Coverage" report in 2008. Analyst Linda Gorman describes how this fake 18,000 figure was arrived at.
Gorman notes that the 18,000 figure was arrived at by using a 15-year cascading series of studies that all repeated the same errors and misinterpreted or mischaracterized the findings of previous studies.
One of the earliest studies was published in 1993 by Peter Franks in the Journal of the American Medical Association and estimated that there were 1.25 deaths among those without insurance for every death among those with health insurance. Gorman notes:
To arrive at that number, the authors compared the cumulative mortality by 1987 of people who were either privately insured or uninsured at the time of a survey taken from 1971 to 1975.
Note: If the subjects studied were normal, those who were uninsured in the original survey would have remained so for only a short period of time, and over the 19 year interval members of the whole group would have experienced shifts of insurance status (from insured to uninsured and back again) several times. Being uninsured, after all, is like being unemployed. Lots of people experience the condition, but usually for short periods of time. Yet if this is true, it's hard to draw any meaningful inference from the study about the effects of insurance on mortality.
For the study's inference to be meaningful, one almost has to assume that the uninsured stayed uninsured for the full 19 years! But if that were so, the group would in no way be representative of the U.S. population as a whole.
To make matters worse, the authors claim their findings support "universal health insurance to reduce both financial barriers to care and the risk of premature mortality."
As Gorman notes, the Peter Frank's faulty estimate has been uncritically repeated over and over again ever since in newer reports that have been published.
What is not reported widely, notes Gorman, is a study published in 1994 by Sorlie in the Archives of Internal Medicine. This study showed that people with Medicaid and Medicare had higher mortality rates than either the uninsured or those with private insurance. It appears that government-run health care will result in higher death rates than if a person had no insurance at all.
Once socialized medicine is implemented, we may hear the cries of "bring out your dead" from men pushing carts through our decaying neighborhoods - ala Monty Python's portrayal of the Black Death in a 1970s satire.