Aug 23, 2009

On Philip's New Editorial: Healthcare

Philip R. Klein's latest editorial on the Southeast Texas Political Review is based on this premise:

Over 91% of American's are insured;

Given the subject matter, I suspect that Klein actually meant, "Over 91 percent of Americans are insured.'

Typically, PRK made up the statistic, which is why Klein never cites his references. The actual figures used by all sides of the healthcare debate come from a 2007 report by the U.S. Census Bureau:

The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3 percent) in 2007.

This is corroborated by Wikipedia, who cited the same report:

Around 84.7% of citizens have some form of health insurance; either through their employer or the employer of their spouse or parent (59.3%), purchased individually (8.9%), or provided by government programs (27.8%; there is some overlap in these figures).[36]

Since these statistics were taken before the current recession, most knowledgeable sources agree that the percentage of uninsured is substantially higher in 2009. Furthermore, these statistics do not account for other critical demographics, such as the underinsured and the newly unemployed.

Why is this important?  Superficially, a seven percent difference between truth and fiction seems almost inconsequential, even when extrapolated to the 3 million people it represents.

Here's why. Much of the today's debate on healthcare is based on similar misinformation. Reforming a system that represents 15.3 percent of our total GDP needs to be done rationally and deliberately, based on fact. Unfortunately, the facts get lot in the extremist rhetoric, much like Philip R. Klein's editorial.

As an example, HR 3200 has no reference whatsoever to the purported death panels, but these panels have existed for years as claims boards at private insurance companies.  Unfortunately, about 30 people in Southeast Texas will quote Philip's manufactured statistic as fact.

It's okay to have an opinion, no matter how bizarre, but it's wrong to make up facts and rumors from anonymous sources as validation. Philip's lies and reckless disregard for the truth have no place in reasoned debate, so his editorial loses on all counts. It's obvious that Klein doesn't have the mental acuity to fully comprehend the issue without resorting to lies.


Anonymous said...

Gus, this is a great reason why the local reporters all hate Klein. Making up facts to fit the story isn't citizen journalism, it's fraud.

Anonymous said...

Obese people need health insurance.

Anonymous said...

If they'd limit their trips through the buffet line at Sanfords to only 10 or 11 times per visit, we wouldn't have to pay for ther health issues with our premiums.

Klein's Crackberry said...

Look up ethics in dictionary.

Anonymous said...

Hell of an observation. Klien is not hated because of this opinions. He's hated because he lies about anybody who gets in his way. Good job!