Monday, October 17, 2016

N.C. Progressives Propagandize Medicaid Expansion

How many times have we been told by liberals that the news section of a paper is for facts, and opinions are reserved for the editorial page?  We all know this is hogwash and the Charlotte Observer wallows in it every chance they get.  Last Sunday’s edition was no exception.

What is really despicable is the way these people propagandize health care.  Progressives would have us believe health insurance is the same as care and in doing so they have driven the cost of premiums and deductibles through the roof.  The Affordable Care Act is not affordable.  They have managed to turn North Carolina’s middle-class – those who make $30,600 to $96,812 a year – into beggars by forcing them to accept federal government subsidies, or onto the Medicaid rolls.

Medicaid was designed to help the poor and disabled.  Now this overburdened program is becoming a vehicle for a single-payer system.  The Charlotte Observer would have us believe Medicaid is the cure for all our healthcare needs and our failure to expand this program is directly responsible for numerous deaths in North Carolina:

Saxe often saw children on Medicaid who were brought in by mothers who worked and were not eligible for Medicaid themselves. “They were my patients too, but they would say, ‘Oh, I can’t see you. I don’t have the money.’ 

As a result, “you have a population of women of child-bearing age, some of whom didn’t come in and get contraception, and that puts them at risk for having another baby at a short interval.”

Saxe recalled one patient in her 40s who had been discharged from the hospital after having several strokes but had failed to keep follow up appointments because she didn’t have insurance or the cash to pay. “She could have died waiting to see me,” Saxe said.

Indeed, an estimated 455 to 1,145 unnecessary deaths a year can be attributed to North Carolina’s failure to expand Medicaid, according to a 2014 study published in the journalHealth Affairs. The study also estimated that 14,776 North Carolina residents would face catastrophic medical bills because of the state’s decision.

First of all, women can get contraceptives at a number of free clinics at no cost.  Second, why is a poor mother unable to qualify for Medicaid and her children can?  Could it possibly be that she’s an illegal alien? Hmmm?  Third, non-profit hospitals provide indigent care.  Besides, you can still have insurance and not afford a doctor because of a $9000 deductible thanks to Obamacare.

I find it laughable the study in Health Affairs used the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment which was highly critical of Medicaid.  OHIE concluded the following:

“This randomized, controlled study showed that Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured health outcomes in the first two years, but it did increase use of health services, raise rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduce financial strain.”

 We shouldn’t be surprised progressives, who were critical of this study, are now spinning it to their advantage.  These people will bastardize anything. Here is what Avik Roy wrote in his broadside, How Medicaid Fails the Poor:

Immediately, progressive bloggers went into overdrive to explain these results away.  “The sample size was too small,” they said, even though new medicines for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure routinely show significantly improved health outcomes in much smaller trials.  “Two years isn’t long enough to show a significant benefit,” they insisted, even though new drugs that failed to show any benefit in two years would be summarily rejected by the FDA and abandoned by sponsors.

The Medicaid cohort reported that they felt better about their health and their financial security as a result of enrolling in the program and were less depressed.  We can presume that the 40 percent of Medicaid “winners” who didn’t bother to fill out the application felt differently; they, however, were not surveyed.

The Charlotte Observer didn’t mention the caveats Health Affairs enumerated at the bottom of their hypothesis.  One being an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine entitled, Mortality and Access to Care among Adults after State Medicaid Expansions.  Here is the takeaway:

Study Design

We used a differences-in-differences quasi-experimental design that incorporated data before and after Medicaid expansions in both the expansion states and the control states. 

Quasi-experimental design?  What in the hell is that?  Is that an oxymoron like the Affordable Care Act?  Maybe we should ask Dr. Benjamin D. Sommers about his association with The Commonwealth Fund.  That suspect organization had a hand in this whole Obamacare fiasco.  Here is an excerpt from Michelle Malkin’s article:

 The tipster is right to question the Commonwealth Fund’s ability to provide objective information about Obamacare to journalists. The head of the fund, Karen Davis, is a Jimmy Carter leftover and self-identified “progressive” economist who has long peddled single payer. Her 2009 annual report proclaims:

The Commonwealth Fund marshaled its resources this year to produce timely and rigorous work that helped lay the groundwork for the historic Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in March 2010.

Perhaps one of the journalists participating in these indoctrination sessions can enlighten the public on the people, funding, and ideology driving the Commonwealth Fund’s media “education” campaign

I wonder if this so-called journalist at the Charlotte Observer attended one of these sessions.  Her use of suspect studies and reports is indicative of indoctrination.


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