Who Hates the Poor? They Work for The Kochs
Apparently "some people" (and I mean people who work for "people of means") believe there isn't any value in giving health insurance to the poor. They believed that it would be a waste of money because poor people wouldn't make use of available medical benefits and would be no better off than if no insurance was provided. Well, "surprise, surprise," as they say. From the NY Times (h/t Balloon Juice):
When poor people are given medical insurance, they not only find regular doctors and see doctors more often but they also feel better, are less depressed and are better able to maintain financial stability, according to a new, large-scale study that provides the first rigorously controlled assessment of the impact of Medicaid.
While the findings may seem obvious, health economists and policy makers have long questioned whether it would make any difference to provide health insurance to poor people.
I know we are in a race to return to the golden age of Dickens' Victorian England circa 1840 in order to insure most of us die earlier so rich people can more easily afford their personal planes and yachts, but when do supposedly highly educated "public policy makers" and economists exactly lose their souls? Before or after they get their degrees? Before or after they go to work for conservative think tanks and industry groups? And what is the going price for selling your soul to the highest bidder?
We (the US of A) provide the worst medical coverage to poor people (a subset of the population that is growing by the way) among developed nations. We have the highest infant mortality rates and the lowest age at deathamong our peers. We also have the highest rate of uninsured people among developed countries. Yet, with all that evidence that providing good health care to all people is a net benefit to society, these so-called economists and "policy makers" believed that giving health care to the poor was a bad idea?
By the way the study was only done back in 2008 because:
[T]he state [of Oregon]wanted to expand its Medicaid program to include more uninsured people but could afford to add only 10,000 to its rolls. Yet nearly 90,000 applied. Oregon decided to select the 10,000 by lottery.
Economists were electrified. Here was their chance to compare those who got insurance with those who were randomly assigned to go without it. No one had ever done anything like that before, in part because it would be considered unethical to devise a study that would explicitly deny some people coverage while giving it to others.
So it is unethical to devise a health care study that would explicitly deny health coverage to people while providing it to others. That made me laugh, but not in a good way. We are already conducting a scientific experiment on millions of people that explicitly denies health care coverage to millions of people while providing it to others on the basis of class, employment and socioeconomic status. It's called the American Health Care System, and yes, it is unethical and immoral.
But you already knew that.
Ps. I found out who some of the people who would rather see us continue to wallow in our wasteful, unethical health care system rather than provide health care coverage for all. What a shocker to see that they work for The Cato Institute, a Conservative Libertarian think tank co-founded by Charles Koch. Yes, one of those "Koch brothers." David Koch currently sits on CATO's board. He's the other brother. I know, it is hard to believe two wealthy bastards like these can buy people to get the opinions they want despite the array of facts that oppose their positions, but funny things happen when you allow your government to be bought and sold with relatively paltry campaign contributions (bribes) and investments in "think tanks" etc.
CATO has already released a "statement" (see link above) deriding the Oregon study and claiming it has no bearing whatsoever on the debate over expanding health care coverage to more Americans under the limited reforms passed by the Democrats in 2009 (the Affordable Care Act or ACA). Go and read it if you want. I'm not going to republish their hypocritical propaganda here.