Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Americans 'lied to' about '47 million uninsured'

Bush, Hillary, Michael Moore said to greatly exaggerate stats on health care

Posted: July 19, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

President Bush, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore and much of the mainstream media are incorrect when they claim the number of Americans without health insurance to be 40 to 50 million, with the actual number possibly under 10 million.

So says the Business and Media Institute, a Virginia-based division of the Media Research Center, a nonprofit watchdog organization designed to bring balance and responsibility to the media.

"The actual total is open to debate," says BMI analyst Julia Seymour. "But there are millions of people who should be excluded from that [high] tally, including: those who aren't American citizens, people who can afford their own insurance, and people who already qualify for government coverage but haven't signed up."

She notes government statistics also show 45 percent of people without insurance are not completely in dire straits, as they'll have coverage again within four months after switching jobs.

"Accounting for all those factors, one prominent study places the total for the long-term uninsured as low as 8.2 million – a very different reality than the media and national health care advocates claim," said Seymour.

The BMI report notes the number of the uninsured who are not U.S. citizens is nearly 10 million on its own, invalidating all the claims of 40-plus million "Americans" without health insurance.

In a May 31 speech, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said: "It's really indefensible that we now have more than 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million of whom are children, and the vast majority of whom are from working families."

ABC News medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson cited the incorrect data as he praised a "bold" and "politically brilliant" universal health-coverage plan on the April 26 edition of "Good Morning America."

"It's bold because it does propose to cover all Americans, including the 47 million now who are uninsured, within five years," said Johnson.

Seymour also labeled Michael Moore's new film "SiCKO" as a "propagandumentary" and pointed out the director's website claims a very high number of uninsured: "There are nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance."

She says subtracting non-citizens and those who can afford their own insurance but choose not to purchase it, about 20 million people are left – less than 7 percent of the population.

"Many Americans are uninsured by choice," wrote Dr. David Gratzer in his book, "The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care." Gratzer cited a study of the "nonpoor uninsured" from the California Healthcare Foundation.

"Why the lack of insurance [among people who own homes and computers]? One clue is that 60 percent reported being in excellent health or very good health," explained Gratzer.

"Proponents of universal health care often use the 46-million figure – without context or qualification. It creates the false impression that a huge percentage of the population has fallen through the cracks," Gratzer told BMI. "Again, that's not to suggest that there is no problem, but it's very different than the universal-care crowd describes."

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group often quoted in news reports, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 8.2 million and 13.9 million, far less than the mantra of 40 to 50 million.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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