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CNN Truth Squad: The uninsured - 46 million or 8 million?

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the statement: the number of people unable to get health insurance in the united states is only about 8 million, far lower than the total of 46 million that the census bureau says lack health insurance. several people at congressional town hall meetings have cited the figure to argue that the sweeping congressional proposals to expand health coverage are unnecessary.

the facts: the figure has been disseminated by the pacific research institute, a conservative think tank that opposes the obama administration's push for health-care reform. but rowena itchon, a spokeswoman for the institute, said the number was drawn from a 2003 study by the insurance company blue cross-blue shield. that study concluded that a third of the uninsured-more than 14 million people-qualified for existing government programs such as medicare and medicaid, but were not enrolled in them. about another 13 million had incomes of $50,000 or more, suggesting they could obtain insurance on their own.

nearly 6 million were what blue cross called "short-term uninsured," meaning people who are either between jobs or are just entering the work force. many of the remainder were low-wage workers in firms with fewer than 10 workers, who could obtain coverage if the government offered tax credits for small businesses or grants to states, while others are illegal immigrants, it said.

citing that research and other census data, pri president sally pipes argued in a widely circulated 2008 opinion piece that only 8 million people-just under 3 percent of the u.s. population-are "chronically uninsured."

but the census bureau's survey-which found about 15 percent of the u.s. population uninsured -- is the largest and most regular survey, said karyn schwartz, a senior policy analyst at the nonprofit and nonpartisan kaiser family foundation. and according to its findings, "the bulk of the uninsured are u.s. citizens, they're from working families, but they have low incomes and would likely have trouble affording private coverage," she said.

the latest census bureau survey was published in 2008, based on data gathered in 2007. that survey does not take into account effects of the current recession, which officially began in december 2007.

the verdict: in dispute-but most researchers who study health care issues rely on the census bureau's figures.

 

 

taken from: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/08/20/cnn-truth-squad-the-uninsured-46-million-or-8-million/

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Makes sense.

If you are talking about census figures, use census data...not political think tank propaganda.

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Whether it is 48 million, 15 million, or 8 million, we as a nation can do better.

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When I was going to nursing school about half of us didn't have insurance - some people just had it for their kids. A lot of us were working part time jobs. I can never believe it was just 3%.

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When I was going to nursing school about half of us didn't have insurance - some people just had it for their kids. A lot of us were working part time jobs. I can never believe it was just 3%.

Right. There was some serious scrambling in my nursing program when they began requiring proof of health insurance each semester and a signed statement that you would not permit your insurance to lapse during the semester, and if it did lapse, you would be removed from the program. However this same college did not offer a group health insurance plan to its students. And I live in a state where the insurance companies can decline any applicant for pre-existing conditions and refuse to cover applicants at all. One classmate with epilepsy almost had to drop out just because she couldn't get coverage and provide proof to the college. And she worked as a tech at a local hospital. The hospitals weren't/aren't offering health insurance to those not working full-time. She ended up marrying her boyfriend "for the insurance", in her words.

Edited by Multicollinearity

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If we rely on Census data, the honest thing would be to not just use one number.

The same report which Karyn refers to also admits that millions are not Americans, millions fail to enroll in eligible programs, and millions more make enough money to afford insurance, and choose not to purchase it. The "survey" didn't just count how many people were uninsured and chisel out the number $46 million." It also identified the demographics of the uninsured, and that is an essential part of understanding the number "46 million."

So yes, I suppose it's true that 46 million are uninsured, but that number, presented at face value, doesn't say a thing about the state of our healthcare system one way or the other.

Context is important, and it helps us understand what the number actually means and says.

The persuasion of any think tank makes their conclusion no more "propoganda" than the conclusion presented by someone who doesn't grasp the comprehensive presentation of all the data instead of just that one number.

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If we rely on Census data, the honest thing would be to not just use one number.

The same report which Karyn refers to also admits that millions are not Americans, millions fail to enroll in eligible programs, and millions more make enough money to afford insurance, and choose not to purchase it. The "survey" didn't just count how many people were uninsured and chisel out the number $46 million." It also identified the demographics of the uninsured, and that is an essential part of understanding the number "46 million."

So yes, I suppose it's true that 46 million are uninsured, but that number, presented at face value, doesn't say a thing about the state of our healthcare system one way or the other.

Context is important, and it helps us understand what the number actually means and says.

The persuasion of any think tank makes their conclusion no more "propoganda" than the conclusion presented by someone who doesn't grasp the comprehensive presentation of all the data instead of just that one number.

I realize on Allnurses we are not allowed to tell someone that their post is BS so I'm not going to.

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If we rely on Census data, the honest thing would be to not just use one number.

The same report which Karyn refers to also admits that millions are not Americans, millions fail to enroll in eligible programs, and millions more make enough money to afford insurance, and choose not to purchase it. The "survey" didn't just count how many people were uninsured and chisel out the number $46 million." It also identified the demographics of the uninsured, and that is an essential part of understanding the number "46 million."

So yes, I suppose it's true that 46 million are uninsured, but that number, presented at face value, doesn't say a thing about the state of our healthcare system one way or the other.

Context is important, and it helps us understand what the number actually means and says.

The persuasion of any think tank makes their conclusion no more "propoganda" than the conclusion presented by someone who doesn't grasp the comprehensive presentation of all the data instead of just that one number.

I simply thanked you last night as I didn't have much time but I do appreciate your post as I have been posting the same information - that the 46 million number needs to be broken down. I've posted many links to it but found some new ones tonight. :typing

http://www.drwalt.com/blog/2009/07/24/new-analysis-of-the-myth-46-million-americans-without-health-insurance/

"When you hear “46 million uninsured,” or “1 in 6 Americans don’t have health insurance,” remember that this is technically correct but misleading. The more important question is, “How many uninsured people who already qualify for tax-subsidized programs need additional help from taxpayers?”"

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/health/the-46-million-myth-200908224005/

"It is also worth pointing out once again that the 46 million figure does not mean that 46 million people are permanently without insurance. Indeed, it is estimated that 10-20 million are only temporarily without coverage. In many instances, that could be because the US tax system creates huge distortions in favour of employment-based health insurance – something which causes problems when people switch jobs."

http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-harsanyi/how-to-lie-with-statistics-again.html

How To Lie With Statistics -- Again

Did you know that about 300 million Americans went without food, water and shelter at some point last year?

I am a survivor.

If you were blessed with the prodigiously creative and cunning mind of a politician, that kind of statistic — meaningless but technically true — could be put to good use.

In the entertaining 1954 classic "How To Lie With Statistics," Darrell Huff writes, "Misinforming people by the use of statistical material might be called statistical manipulation … (or) statisticulation."

:nurse: steph

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I realize on Allnurses we are not allowed to tell someone that their post is BS so I'm not going to.

I recognize when people are unable to actually point out and discuss the issues, and resort to juvenile passive-aggressive behavior, but it doesn't really need pointed out.

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