Friday, September 11, 2009

Stupid or Lying?

Megan:

I can't get this math to work. The actual number of the uninsured, according to the census, is 46.3 million. Of those, 36.8 million were natives of the US or naturalized citizens. There is no "alternate figure" for the number of American citizens that includes legal residents. Legally resident immigrants are fine people. But they are, definitionally, not American citizens.
Now when I click through to the Kaiser link that Orszag provides, I find that it says that "A quarter of the uninsured (11 million) are eligible for public programs but not enrolled." 36.8mm - 11mm is 25.8 million, not more than 30 million.
The Kaiser link (pdf):


Those who can read will notice "44.6 million uninsured" right down on the bottom, there, which is to say the 25% portion above it is 25% of 44.6 million. In fact, I think I can answer my titular question and say she's simply lying, as there's no way to get 11 million without applying that 1/4 to 44.6 million. But, to give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she's just so bad at math she thinks 11 is 1/4th of 36.8.
Does it matter? 15 or 20 or 25 million people is still a lot of people. But it matters for the same reason that the difference between 66% and 80% matters. You can't have a debate where everyone gets to bring their own statistics.
Lying asshole.
My point is that she's only using the numbers that help her whittle the estimate of the uninsured down, then claiming it's academic anyway, just to be clear.

15 comments:

Susan of Texas said...

She really does believe that being wrong makes her more qualified, not less.

NutellaonToast said...

She seems to think that this 45 million number includes non-citizens which must be subtracted out. Then she subtracts the 11 million eligible for medicaid and gets 25 million.

So Obama MIGHT have been off by 5 million, which is totally equivalent to Megan making up a number, then being called out on it, then making up another number and insisting that it must be right since the first one was wrong.

brad said...

My problem is she's saying she won't accept their numbers except in that she'll accept their numbers. Kaiser's numbers are being yanked out of the context in which they were generated, making them all but meaningless.

arguingwithsignposts said...

"You can't have a debate where everyone gets to bring their own statistics."

I agree with this. She's a master at bringing her own statistics.

Mark said...

"You can't have a debate where everyone gets to bring their own statistics."

Here's a statistic: Self-awareness - 0%

NutellaonToast said...

Oh, I wasn't defending her. I think she's just being stupid, btu I'm not 100% sure, since I didn't read the pdf, how to account for possible non-ctizens or whatever.

bulbul said...

Quote from the Kaiser paper:

Undocumented non-citizens are not identified on the CPS [current population survey]. (p. 2)

Appendix A, however, addresses the issue and the bottom line is:

The key results are that we estimate about five
million uninsured to be undocumented non citizens
.
(p. 17, emphasis mine)

There we go, it took exactly 4 minutes (and that's only because the stupid pdf wouldn't download). Take note, Atlantic editors and owners. Now I'm off to brunch.
Also, fuck Megan.

bulbul said...

Oh and the total number of non-citizens is 9.3 million.

bulbul said...

Hoooly shit, guys, check this out. Someone describes their horror story of paying their premiums and still being denied coverage and what's our Muse's advice: bluff. Threaten to declare bankruptcy. She has absolutely no problem potentially dooming the person to a lifetime of bad credit, even though they did everything right. What a piece of shit McArdle is. And can anyone tell me why she thinks the university should be involved? Only that first doctor visit Dameon describes was to a student health clinic and I'm not even sure this one had anything to do with the university.
Also:
There are only 2.6 million legal immigrants without insurance.
Not according to the Kaiser paper. 9.3m uninsured non-citizens total, of which 5.2m are illegals. That leaves 4.1m uninsured legal immigrants. And that was 4 years ago.

Susan of Texas said...

The actual number of the uninsured, according to the census, is 46.3 million. Of those, 36.8 million were natives of the US or naturalized citizens. There is no "alternate figure" for the number of American citizens that includes legal residents. Legally resident immigrants are fine people. But they are, definitionally, not American citizens.

So she's decided that if you legally reside here but aren't a citizen yet you dont count? Because only people with citizenship need health care? What does she suppose they do, fly home to get medical care?

bulbul said...

Well, she claims she's talking about citizens specifically because Obama said "30 million American citizens". Some of her commentors made the same argument you did - if someone is a legal immigrant and they're paying their taxes like any other citizen, why shouldn't they be elligible for whatever government health care is provided?

NutellaonToast said...

I think an important point is also that the 30 million number is meant to illustrate that there are a shitload of uninsured Americans. Changing it to 25 million does make a difference.

Megan, however, draws an equivalency with her basing an argument on the importance and uniqueness of the American pharam market on the claim that 80% of pharma's profits come from America. Since America doesn't constitute 80% of the market, this woudl be a strong point.

However, downgrading it to 60%, a number she still makes up anyway, changes things a lot, since the American and European economies are similar size. If they account for similar amounts of pharma profit, then the American system isn't sustaining anything. In fact, Americans, having poorer health in general, would likely take MORE PILLS and thus should be expected to provide more profits to pharma, irrespective of its pricing system.

So, yea, equivalency fail.

James said...

Maybe Megs meant "hypotheticals," and not "statistics."

Dr Zen said...

I think you could safely make that "or" an "and".

domanda said...

Megan doesn't know green card holders exist. But she actually makes a point here, coz i guess most legal residents probably can fly home and get better care for a lot cheaper lol. I can't see any european interested in buying american insurance and being treated like shit.

Not to mention that most "legal residents" aka green card holders turn into naturalized citizens in a few years. They are basically no different from american citizens and i think they are eligible for medicaid, medicare, public school and things like that. There are also legal visa holders who are not in fact "legal residents", but called "aliens" by this country. So yeah, the bottom line is americans' immigrating wives or mothers don't matter to Megan.