Obamacare

Public Option Advocate Claims Death-Dealing Insurance Companies Could Kill More Americans Than the Iraq War

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Not dead yet!

Is the House health reform bill as liberal as any health care bill is going to get? Some liberals think so, and Politico's reporting that they aren't happy—and that they're not being quiet about it. Indeed, Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has blown its bankroll attempting to boost the public option recently, has entered full rhetorical overkill mode, telling Politico:

Politically speaking, undermining the public option is the 2009 equivalent of voting for the war in Iraq — except more Americans will die at the hands of insurance companies than died in Iraq.

I'm not even sure how to respond this sort of super-heated nonsense. Do I point out that there's nothing even remotely credible to back it up? The only study I'm aware of that goes into insurance-related deaths concludes that roughly 45,000 people die each year because of lack of insurance coverage. But that's become a talking point because it bolsters the liberal case for forcing people to buy insurance (yes, from insurance companies). I could also point out that even the rosiest projections for the public option—under parameters not being considered, even in the House—result in only about 135 million people being enrolled, meaning that tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people would still be insured by private companies. Unless, of course, Green is taking the we-don't-say-it-except-around-other-liberals view that the public option would eventually lead to a fully government-controlled single-payer system. But in that case, he's not actually complaining about the public option being undermined, he's complaining that we're not getting single payer. But that was never really on the table to begin with, and complaining about that would make Green—who I suspect wants to remain an effective advocate for public policy—seem like kind of a crazy, ranting radical, wouldn't it?

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  1. Voting for the public option may result in deaths and shortened lifespans, but I don’t see how voting against it could be harmful. You see, it’s a stupid fucking idea.

  2. more Americans will die at the hands of insurance companies than died in Iraq.

    Sweet.

    I’m updating my resume, and sending it to MetDeath.

  3. This outfit is called the PCCC? What is this ? November Fool’s day?

    1. Best name since Evian.

  4. I’m not even sure how to respond this sort of super-heated nonsense.

    The word you’re looking for, Suderman, is “hyperbolic”. Hyperbolic.

  5. I noticed that too, brotherben. Dispatch SugarFree at once to steal their backpacks.

    1. Bwa-ha-ha!

      1. Excellent spot, bb.

  6. Sometimes the push for government health care sounds like a religious movement. The only important thing is to get as many of these poor, doomed people into the government system as quickly as possible. It won’t actually make anyone healthier, but once they’ve been brought safely into the fold the leaders of the movement can focus on the glorious future, and let the sick of today die off with a clear conscience.

  7. I think his point is that by denying coverage to, say, a person just diagnosed with colon cancer, the insurance company is responsible for his eventual death. Just like a supermarket would be if it refused to give free food to all comers. All part of the guilt trip that encourages the productive to sacrifice for the nonproductive.

    1. I think you’re right.

    2. Without a public option for grocery stores, more people will die of starvation than will die in Iraq.

  8. “Politically speaking, undermining the public option is the 2009 equivalent of voting for the war in Iraq ? except more Americans will die at the hands of insurance companies progressive, do -gooder, shit-addled schemes than died in Iraq.”

    Fixed.

    1. Actually, I think it’s fair to say that Iraq was pretty much a progressive, do -gooder, shit-addled scheme itself.

      Progressive, do-gooder, shit-addled schemes have a pretty good record of producing bad consequences including lots of deaths.

  9. In the aftermath of the Republican win here in Virginia, a reporter held a “town hall” meeting of about 30 people to talk about the election. A man told the reporter he worried about the deficits being piled up and the effectiveness of health care reform as proposed in Congress. His point was that this issue was so important that it should not be rushed.

    A woman in the audience interrupted him by shouting that people were dying because they didn’t have insurance so we needed to act now.

    A wonderful illustration of progressive thought and fear mongering.

  10. The only study I’m aware of that goes into insurance-related deaths concludes that roughly 45,000 people die each year because of lack of insurance coverage.

    To which the only response is that these theoretical people concluded that their lives were worth less than the cost to buy the issuance or change their lifestyles, which is as likely to have contributed to their death.

    1. JW. Wow can I just smack you. Do you KNOW how much insurance premiums cost? COBRA in WA ( which is a “public insurance) is about 3-400 a month for ONE person.

      If someone is hardly keeping food ont he table, a 400 premium is not EVEN an Option. But it sounds like you’ve never been without anything, so you wouldn’t know what its like trying to scrape by for survival.

      Those 45,000 that die, are mostly elderly and low income.

      Shame on you, you heartless soul.I hope you don’t end up with out insurance.

      1. If you’re on COBRA, it means you had a job, which means you had the means to pay for COBRA. duh.

        Even in this ridiculous regulated environment that slaps one bandaid (COBRA) on top of another (EMployer provided health plans), if you are without insurance, it’s YOUR fault.

        1. Never gotten laid off for a long stretch, huh, kid?

      2. “Those 45,000 that die, are mostly elderly and low income. ”

        Its almost as if you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. Wait… you don’t. The elderly are on Medicare. You are making it up as you go along.

      3. Yes, I do know how much they cost. They aren’t cheap and we have no one else to thank but the state and federal guvmints that erected all of the competitive barriers to health insurance as to why plans cost as much as they do.

        The 45,000 is a bullshit number, plucked out of asses to say what they want to say. No one is denied access to health care in this country, so a lack of health insurance didn’t kill them. Try again.

        People die, every day, who do have health insurance. Why is that and how is that any different than those who don’t have health insurance?

        The heartless souls are the people who are pimping for socialized medicine and all of the medical mediocrity that it will bring to *everyone,* whether they want it or not.

      4. If someone is hardly keeping food ont he table, a 400 premium is not EVEN an Option. But it sounds like you’ve never been without anything, so you wouldn’t know what its like trying to scrape by for survival.

        Oh, and fuck you. You know jack and shit about what I’ve been through in my life, and what I’ve been with or without, so now is the time to STFU, before you look like an even bigger idiot.

  11. …roughly 45,000 people die each year because of lack of insurance coverage.

    No, they die because of lack of medical care. They lack medical care, because they don’t have a means of paying the high prices charged by medical care providers.

    1. The solution lies in price controls.

      We all know that cancer rates will not increase if the price of chemo goes down.

  12. Why do I have to by any insurance? Shouldn’t that be up to me? What ever happened to freedom of choice?

    Nobama compared it to having auto insurance. Uh no.

    Driving a half ton killing machine with wheels on the road with thousands of other drivers, at the risk of being hit by some butt hole is NOT the same as Health insurance.

    I pay out of pocket to see my naturopath. I don’t even bill the insurance my work forces me to carry.

    Public option also means…public medical record.

    If you don’t think so…you should do the homework. Currently the Govt has access to 14million EMR charts. The CDC “Follows” people’s illness via the net and data reported to them via the facility, with out your knowledge or consent. Bet you didn’t know the GOVT doesn’t need your permission to get your charts. >: )

    Especially if you have filed and sort of disability, FMLA or medical leave.

  13. “Public option also means…public medical record.”

    That should be pounded into EVERYONE’S head over and over again.

    1. Public option also means anything you do that increases your disease or injury risk imposes costs on the public, and can therefore be regulated. See smoking, sodas, bike helmets. It’s no longer “for your own good”, it’s “you’re costing us money”.

      I actually had someone say that the other day – talk about the medical expenses imposed on society as a justification for restricting fast food consumption.

      1. I can’t see it. Medicaid and food stamps have been a staple of the poor for decades and there is no restriction on unhealthy food choices. Restrictions that would be incredibly easy now that the food stamp money is done on a credit debit card type system. I will add anecdotally that these people are some of the most obese and unhealthiest folks down here.

        1. There are no food stamps. There are food cards. It would be just as easy for the government to track your purchases as it is for Whole Foods.

          1. My point exactly. They don’t restrict purchase, even though they are paying for the resulting medical problems.

            1. True, but is seems strangely as if medicaid expenses are off the radar for most of the public health nazis. Perhaps it’s not a large enough slice of the budget to matter.

              However, we do see people justifying cig taxes and soda taxes on a public-health-expense basis.

  14. Libertarianism is responsible for more deaths than gun powder and mustard gas combined!!

  15. Yes, an insurance company refusing to issue you coverage because you’re a poor risk is exactly equal to them taking a gun and shooting you.

  16. What he’s doing is attributing all deaths due to denial of coverage to insurance industry malfeasance, which implicitly claims that no such things would ever happen under a government run system.

    The trouble is that people want unlimited health care up to and including last-ditch efforts to keep someone alive. And they want someone else to pay for it. And they want it to be cheap too. Mutually exclusive desires. The Democrats have decided to take advantage of this by promising them cheap health care with no restrictions. By blaming deaths on insurance companies, they are implying that under a government-run system, no health care service would ever be denied for cost reasons. Zero rationing, universal, complete coverage equals a budget busting apocalypse, but they are busy hiding that fact from the public.

    Right now, the insurance companies are the bad boys because they are the only ones making those decisions. They are the ONLY cost constraint in the system. When and if the government takes over, it will eventually start rationing health care, and tens of thousands of people WILL die when tghe government denies them treatment. It will be exactly the same or worse, and the decisions will be no faired because the government will make them based on political considerations (favoring key demographics and voting blocks).

  17. That claim is a little extreme, but it’s true that the public option can be a great help to people who need it. It’s already doing that in some places! http://cli.gs/23yYaM/

  18. That should be pounded into EVERYONE’S head over and over again.

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