Monday, September 17, 2007

Bushy Math Meets Universal Health Care

From CNN:
The American Cancer Society is devoting its entire $15 million advertising budget for 2007 to highlight the problems faced by Americans who don't have any or enough health insurance.

The society says that, because they lack insurance, people may not be getting the checkups they need to catch cancer early, when treatments are more successful.

The article goes on to talk about the people who will be featured in the ads, and why the organization decided to do this.

I was really glad to see that they were publicly supporting Universal Health Care, and I think it will make a great difference in our nation's decision for the next president.

Earlier today, I watched video of the Women for Obama launch, where Barack spoke about health care, and about not letting the lobbyists throw another $1 billion at Washington to prevent the legislation. Maybe that's why I was so bothered by this:
The ad campaign was criticized as pushing a "political agenda" in a Wall Street Journal op-ed written last week by New York's former lieutenant governor and health policy official Betsy McCaughey.

"These ads will waste money that should be used to continue the society's educational campaign about prevention and detection," wrote McCaughey, chairwoman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.

"The evidence shows that universal health coverage does not improve survival rates for cancer patients," the September 14 op-ed stated.

"The American Cancer Society should continue its lifesaving messages about prevention and screening instead of switching to a political agenda. The goal should be to ensure that all patients receive the timely care our current system provides, not to radically overhaul the system."

McCaughey, who served under New York Gov. George Pataki, criticized then-President Clinton's health care plan in 1994 in a New Republic article titled, "No Exit."

How can a public health official say that having health care won't increase survival rates? What evidence is she talking about? Is she using Bushy Math to calculate the survival rates of insured cancer patients vs uninsured cancer patients? I'm appalled.

My 22 year old sister, who currently works at a restaurant, has no insurance. She recently had an ear infection which caused her eardrum to rupture. Having no insurance, she didn't go to the doctor in time. Since then, she's found out that the hole left in her eardrum hasn't healed, and requires surgery. Because she hasn't had insurance, and because of "pre-existing conditions", and because health care is more about the insurance industry than the health of the people, she's probably never going to have this surgery. Half deaf at 22, and not even because she listens to loud music.

How does this fit in with the American dream?