45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of Health Insurance- Really?

Those talking points and charts the Democrats have been holding up as of late saying that 45,000 U.S. deaths occur due to lack of Health Insurance- Really?  the study is flawed Really

Do 45,000 Americans Die Each Year from Lack of Health Care?

A Harvard University study published in the American Journal of Public Health claimed that nearly 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of health care coverage. It’s an alarming figure, except that this study is seriously flawed, says U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, who represents Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

The study reflects the bias of the authors and contains inaccurate characterizations. The authors of the study, Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, co-founded the Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates a single-payer health system, or socialized medicine. According to Stearns, the authors developed their conclusion before conducting the study.

Consider the questionable methodology behind the report. According to an analysis by John C. Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis:

* The authors of the Harvard study interviewed the uninsured only once — and never saw them again; this alone undermines the integrity of the findings.

* A decade later, the researchers assumed the participants were still uninsured and, if they died in the interim, lack of insurance was blamed as one of the causes.

via Opposing Views: Do 45,000 Americans Die Each Year from Lack of Health Care?.

The National Center for Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank that backs a free-market approach to health care, said researchers overstated the death risk and did not track how long subjects were uninsured.

Woolhandler said that while Physicians for a National Health Program supports government-backed coverage, the Harvard study's six researchers closely followed the methodology used in the 1993 study conducted by researchers in the federal government as well as the University of Rochester in New York.

The Harvard researchers analyzed data on about 9,000 patients tracked by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics through the year 2000. They excluded older Americans because those aged 65 or older are covered by the U.S. Medicare insurance program.

“For any doctor … it's completely a no-brainer that people who can't get health care are going to die more from the kinds of things that health care is supposed to prevent,” said Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard and a primary care physician in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

via Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance | Reuters.

tcrBLOG: Each year, 45,000 people die due to lack of health insurance

In the United States, about 45,000 people die each year because they don’t have health insurance, according to a new study released in the American Journal of Public Health today.

The study surveyed more than 9,000 people and found:

* 22.6 percent of African Americans had no health insurance, while only 12.3 percent of white Americans were uninsured.

* Over the course of the study, 4.1 percent of the African American participants died, while 3.1 percent of white participants died.

* 56.2 percent of people below the “poverty threshold” were uninsured

* Out of all the states, Illinois had the sixth highest number of excess deaths related to lack of health insurance, with 1,626 over the course of the study.

* Seven percent of all deaths nationwide and in Illinois were linked to lack of health insurance.

via tcrBLOG: Each year, 45,000 people die due to lack of health insurance.

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