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Does Lack of Health Insurance Kill? (Probably Not)

John on March 1, 2010 at 8:04 am

There was a big blow up this summer when liberal health reform crusader Ezra Klein accused opponents (particularly Senator Lieberman) of ObamaCare of sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to an early grave. In the latest issue of the Atlantic Megan McArdle looks at this claim and finds it wanting:

The possibility that no one risks death by going without health insurance may be startling, but some research supports it. Richard Kronick of the University of California at San Diego’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, an adviser to the Clinton administration, recently published the results of what may be the largest and most comprehensive analysis yet done of the effect of insurance on mortality. He used a sample of more than 600,000, and controlled not only for the standard factors, but for how long the subjects went without insurance, whether their disease was particularly amenable to early intervention, and even whether they lived in a mobile home. In test after test, he found no significantly elevated risk of death among the uninsured.

Read the whole thing. The bottom line is that it’s not clear at all that ObamaCare will save lives. What is certain is that it will lead to more utilization of the system (and I would argue, higher costs).

Will Klein apologize for accusing Lieberman of intentional mass murder? Of course not. Being a liberal crusader means never having to say you’re sorry. Six months later we’re still waiting for him to apologize for lying to his own readers.

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Category: Health & Education |

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