Vote for The Worst Study Award

We know. There are so many good candidates. We give extra points to people who hype their own phony numbers, however. For example, President Obama has repeatedly relied on research by single-payer advocates to claim that more than half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. The study even made the first page of The New York Timesabove the fold. Actual number of bankruptcies due to medical bills: 17%. See John R. Graham's review.

Obama also repeatedly uses a misleading statistic from the left-leaning Families USA, claiming more than $1,000 of the premiums families pay for health coverage are due to cost-shifting from the uninsured. Actual amount shifted: $200. See Linda Gorman's review.

Worst Study Award

  • Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study (55%, 148 Votes)
  • Hidden Health Tax: Americans Pay a Premium (45%, 119 Votes)

Total Voters: 267

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Comments (6)

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  1. Brian says:

    I won’t vote for either.
    the number of bankrupts is probably neither as high as the dems like and certainly isn’t as low as republicans claim. Medical bankruptcy is a fact and it is not an issue that can seriously be dismissed. Insurance bleeds americans of their wealth and returns very little in the way of services.

    That leads to option 2. Even insurance companies will tell you that your premiums are so high because of the un-insured. Insurance claims that the costy of the uninsured is measured in the thousands of dollars annually. (its one of the rare occasions where insurance actually agrees with reality. I would even go so far as saying the “surcharge” for the un-insured is HIGHER than $1000.
    Even though the un-insured medical costs are wrtitten off and the companies (hospitals, doctors, insurance), lose not one thin dime, they charge you anyway. Just like Pharma charging costs for R&D which is a farce because the buisness cost of R&D is virtually nil. R&D is paid for by tax-payer funded grants with very little monetary input for pharma companies. They charge you anyway….. just anopther way to gouge the consumer and legally steal.

  2. Bart Ingles says:

    I voted for the hidden health tax, not only because it’s wrong by wider margin, but because this question has more impact on the kinds of reforms needed; e.g. who gets what subsidy.

    Bankruptcy? Either number is bad; I don’t see how it affects policy very much.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    I voted for the medical bankruptcy study because I believe it to be the most politically motivated of the two studies. Proponents of single-payer national health insurance use their research to advocate for a government-run health care system, where people face high taxes (but no premiums or co-pays) for medical care that is publically funded.

    Of course, some bankruptcies are due primarily to medical bills. I suspect some bankruptcies are caused by providers charging prices that have no relation to cost. This could happen when you visit the ER with a heart attack and later discover the hospital and surgeon were out of your network. Or it could happen when you come down with a catastrophic health condition while uninsured.

    In the study, many cases of "medical" bankruptcy were actually the result of lost wages at work due to illness. In some of the medical bankruptcies, medical debt was eclipsed by consumer debt (including using credit cards to pay bills while off work due to illness). When these observations are removed, the rate of medical bankruptcies is much closer to the estimates by Dranove.

  4. Ken says:

    What if we think they are equally bad?

  5. carol says:

    I voted for the tax issue, as that really will be a communist move into big brother watching us and dictating what we will have to do. Very scary stuff this administration is trying to lay on Americans.

  6. Mrs SC Thompson says:

    I left Canada a year after National Health started in
    Canada and it was already a mess.

    I was and did go in the Medical Field and came to USA
    as the USA has the best Medicine in the world.

    I pray we do not get Universal Health care as it is
    lousy. The Government can not run itself let alone try to run Medicine. I causes a lot of misery for patients.

    Nobody in the Medical Field wants to take orders from a Government Bureaucrat ergo shortage of Staff etc. Doctors left Canada and came here. Many areas have no physicans. There is a shortage of good equipment,preventative medicine is lacking, the list
    goes on and on.

    Americans are to be congratulated for bucking the
    establishment. Why should Congress get and excellent
    plan and we get a mess?? They work for we the people
    and we want their plan not this mess they are pushing. Thank you.