The Corner

Another Bogus Health Statistic from the Left

Yesterday I pointed out that one of the Left’s talking points — that lack of insurance causes 45,000 people to die each year in the U.S. — is based on junk science. I should have added that this factoid has spawned numerous children, each as untrustworthy as the last. People have extrapolated from the original “findings” to come up with estimates of the number of people in each state, or congressional district, who die from lack of insurance; yesterday we learned that “[t]he number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study.” The veterans’ figure is based on the same assumptions, and comes from the same researchers, as the overall figure. Don’t trust any of it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.