Maybe It Is Infectious

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.