the u.s. death toll
So, I was —
Accused of being. Um. “Hyperbolic.”
[Ooh la la. That is a five dollar word.]
[Also that is someone calling me hysterical and a chick right? Just checking. Anyway.]
This is because I said hundreds of thousands of people are dying in the U.S. because of lack of medical care.
You do not have to take my word for it. You can take someone else’s word for it. Like, um, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Excerpted from “The Inhuman State of U.S. Health Care” :
“The most credible estimate of the number of people in the United States who have died because of lack of medical care was provided by a study carried out by Professors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler (New England Journal of Medicine 336, no. 11 ). They concluded that almost 100,000 people died in the United States each year because of lack of needed care — three times the number of people who died of AIDs.”
*by the way i wonder how many of the elderly in that article are either skipping or halving their meds just so they can eat or going without food in order to pay for their meds?, that never killed anyone right, going without food or medicine?
*by by the way, note the years there, 2003 address and 1997 study
0 Responses to the u.s. death toll
There is nothing exaggerated about what you’ve been saying.
Do you know why people say things like that? They do it to single you out shame you into silence. Don’t listen to them, actually you shouldn’t be able to hear them because you should KEEP TALKING
First of all, strictly speaking the study you cite third-hand is not a Johns Hopkins study, but a study by Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler which Vicente Navarro referred to in an address to Hopkins students.
Secondly, if you Google “deaths due to lack of insurance,” most of the initial links you get are consistent with the (roughly) 20,000 per year figure produced by the Urban Institute study I linked to. (Indeed, many of them link to the Urban Institute study itself.) None of those links use a 100,000 figure.
Now, I don’t know why there’s this large discrepancy between the figure you cite and the one I cite. There are any number of possible explanations.
Navarro refers to the number of deaths due to “lack of needed care.” Perhaps this does not equate to “lack of medical insurance” but means something different. For example, I noticed one link mentioned 100,000 annual deaths to medical errors, which struck me as an interesting coincidence. Or maybe Navarro mistook a five year total for a one year total. Ideally, we would look at the Himmelstein/Woolhandler study itself to see what, exactly, it was referring to.
Unfortunately, Navarro appears to have made a mistake in his citation. He refers to the Himmelstein/Woolhandler study in the New England Journal of Medicine Volume 336, Number 11. As near as I can tell, there is only one such study, and this is it. That study focused exclusively on administrative costs, and I could find no mention of mortality rates.
So we have a third hand reference to an unlocated 1997 Himmelstein/Woolhandler study versus a direct link to a more recent Urban Institute study. It makes it very difficult to judge the relative merits of the two figures. Perhaps there really is a Himmelstein/Woolhandler study which came up with a 100,000 annual deaths due to lack of insurance, and that figure is in fact the realistic figure, and the Urban Institute was being extremely cautious with its methodology when they produced the 20,000 estimate. Or maybe the more recent Urban Institute study uses a better methodology, and the 1997 Himmelstein/Woolhandler study has been superceded. Who knows?
(BTW, nothing I say here should be taken as a criticism of Drs. Himmelstein and Woolhandler. I formed a very high opinion of them when I interviewed them for a trade publication back in the 1990s. I don’t know of two people who have worked harder to help us make the badly-needed shift to single payer than those two.)
At any rate, all of this is just to demonstrate that there remains a basis for my earlier criticism, which was offered in good faith and was in no ways intended to ‘shut you up’. I now understand where you got your figure, and I respect your opinion (although for the reasons I’ve outlined I remain somewhat skeptical of it and will stick with the 20,000 figure myself). Your original post had no citation; if it had, I would not have written what I did.
The worlds is overpopulated as it is. A little Malthusian population control is just the system self correcting.
Either way, thousands of people die every year (and many more receive sub-standard care) who currently have health insurance because their for-profit health insurance companies consider the best procedures (you know, the ones that the actual MDs not accountants recommend) aren’t in the best interest of their profit margins… And that’s just plain sick.
I found these numbers interesting, the number of Americans losing any kind of coverage daily: http://www.standupforhealthcare.org/blog/archives/the_clock_is_ticking_more_americans_losing_health_coverage/
For the record, racial comments will not be posted on this blog.