Reality Checks, Fact Checks, and Health Care

We've had some discussions about health care recently. I've recently found a few things I think are worth sharing, so thought I'd do a little resurrection of the topic.

For a great piece of satire, or maybe irony... Or maybe he's going for reverse-psychology... Check out this Newsweek article by Jonathan Alter. One paragraph that really jumped out at me, illustrating how people blindly and ignorantly resist change:
I'm with that woman who wrote the president complaining about "socialized medicine" and added: "Now keep your hands off my Medicare." That's the spirit!

People's blind ignorance can be just as bad as their blind faith!

The White House has taken a little initiative and started a new program called Reality Check - a resource "to help you separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform." Here's the highlights from their first distribution:

The White House also has a blog post out countering the claims that an "uncovered video" shows proof that Obama wants to eliminate private health insurance. took notice that the White House has decided to jump into the industry; and they have pledged to continue their fine work, and Fact Check the Reality Check.

Fact Check does have a few recent health care or health insurance related posts worth checking if you are interested:
Finally, I'd like to relay some great points from a blog post I Stumbled Upon.
  • All the people in the industry know it needs reformed; but none of them have any personal incentive to initiate reform. Unfortunately that leaves "a regulatory entity with the rule of law (i.e. the government)" as the only one powerful enough to initiate reform.
  • This truly is not "government health care" but "government health insurance" - and too few realize this, or even know the difference.
    The argument of “Do I want a government bureaucrat deciding if I get [insert medical care here]?” is complete bull.
    The question with government health insurance will not be if you can get the care you want, but who will pay for the care. Same as today, you'll still have the option to go outside your coverage and pay for it out of pocket yourself.
  • The government is already running a health insurance program: "46% of health care is currently paid for by government insurance policies known as Medicare and Medicaid."
  • The current path (if there is no reform) is illogical, destructive to the economy, and immoral.

Views: 81

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on August 10, 2009 at 4:16pm
oh, and don't forget Sarah Palin's claim that it would kill her baby!
Comment by Morgan Matthew on August 10, 2009 at 6:35pm
Awesome post :] Im sending this to my dad.
Comment by Reggie on August 10, 2009 at 6:59pm
Morgan stole my words. Awesome post! A lot of good information there. With all the lies, manufactured controversy, and noise put forth to confuse, it can be hard for anyone to figure out the truth on their own. Thank you!
Comment by Aric on August 10, 2009 at 11:25pm
You mean there won't be "death panels" deciding who gets to live and who dies?
Comment by Reggie on August 10, 2009 at 11:58pm
No, no. We will have death panels.
Comment by Johnny on August 11, 2009 at 1:57pm
Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and the disabled, covers 46 million Americans. Medicare spending totaled $455 billion in 2008.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
Comment by Johnny on August 11, 2009 at 7:29pm
There He Goes Again: Obama’s False $6,000 Claim
August 11, 2009 - Jess Henig
At a nationally televised "town hall meeting" in Portsmouth, N.H., today, President Obama repeated a claim about health care that we’ve disputed in the past.
Obama: So we want – if I’m a customer, if I’m a consumer and I know that I’m overpaying $6,000 for anything else, I would immediately want the best deal. But for some reason, in health care, we continue to put up with getting a bad deal. We’re paying $6,000 more than any other advanced country and we’re not healthier for it – $6,000 per person more, per year. That doesn’t make any sense.

He used the same $6,000 figure in his health care news conference on July 22. At the time, we said he was exaggerating the discrepancy between U.S. spending on health care and that of other nations. Today, Obama went beyond misleading to false when he said that the amount is "$6,000 per person more, per year."

In the July 22 news conference Obama said "we’re spending on average, we here in the United States are spending about $6,000 more than other advanced countries" on health care, but he didn’t specify whether he was speaking of spending per person, per family or per household. The White House told us that Obama’s figure was based on spending per family, not per person. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development produces definitive figures about health care spending but doesn’t actually offer an estimate of per-family spending. White House officials said they had done their own calculations to arrive at a figure of $6,000 per family.

In fact, the U.S. spends about $7,000 per person per year in total, according to OECD figures. We spend about $2,500 more per person than the next highest-spending country, not $6,000.
Comment by Johnny on August 11, 2009 at 7:43pm
The Investor's Business Daily, - while ranting about not wanting the horrible government run health care like Canada and the U.K. have - said "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

It didn't take long for someone to point out that Hawking is British; so the statement has been remove from the article.
Comment by Johnny on August 12, 2009 at 11:31am
Yea, the 'per person VS per family' is confusing.

Because some families of four might have only one working adult. Or two working but one has no benefits from their company. Or both working with overlapping coverage. Or, or, or.

But yeah, that number makes it seem pretty outrageous; hypothetically $28,000 per year for the family of four, and $10,000 per year more than any other country with a similar level of care.

Oh and the "death counsels" and other crazy things; people need to research for themselves for five minutes instead of believing the hearsay from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend. Too easily whipped into a frenzy.
Comment by Johnny on August 12, 2009 at 12:10pm
Urban Institute, Jan. 2008: In 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimated that 18,000 Americans died in 2000 because they were uninsured. Since then, the number of uninsured has grown. Based on the IOM’s methodology and subsequent Census Bureau estimates of insurance coverage, 137,000 people died from 2000 through 2006 because they lacked health insurance, including 22,000 people in 2006.


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