Senator Ron Johnson has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and tells the touching story of the medical care that saved his daughter’s life and goes on to claim that under the Affordable Care Act this medical care might not have been there for his daughter. He offers no evidence of this, but what need is there of evidence when one has a touching anecdote regardless of how relevant it is. He also manages to cherry pick a bunch of statistics to show the US is good and Europe is bad
So, of course, liberal bloggers are jumping all over his absurd claims.
One such blogger is Igor Vlosky writing in the Wonkroom blog at Think Progress. Mr. Vlosky makes the case for why Senator Johnson’s op ed mostly displays Senator Johnson’s lack of understanding of heath care and the Affordable Care Act. He finishes up with some comparisons of the US to Europe, ending with
The United States is also “ranked 29th in the world in infant mortality, tied with Poland and Slovakia.” And so, Johnson gets it wrong. The ACA wouldn’t have killed Johnson’s daughter, but thousands of other uninsured babies would have died without it.
I did a quick Google and I am pretty sure the infant mortality stats for 2010 are not yet available, though the rate did go down in Milwaukee.
Given that the US has been experiencing over four million births a year and that the mortality rate has been over six per 1000, there are certainly thousands of babies to be saved. But I do not believe there is as yet any evidence that the Affordable Care Act has in fact done so.
Senator Johnson makes claims based on no evidence and Mr. Vlosky does the same after reading Johnson’s claims.* Is it infectious?
I can tell you that the Affordable Care Act has not just saved tens of thousands of lives already, but is largely responsible for the economic recovery as well as the freedom movements in northern Africa and the mid-east.
*and Steve Benen at the Washington Monthy blithely quotes Mr. Vlosky’s absurd claim.