Blogger Matthew Yglesias has a response to my post on Ezra Klein’s slander that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is okay with the mass murder (or the mass negligent homicide) of hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans.
Yglesias claims that only one of the three studies I cited speaks to what he claims is the central point: the Institute of Medicine’s estimate of how many Americans die each year because they lack health insurance. Yglesias is incorrect. The central point/threshold question is whether giving the uninsured health insurance will save lives. All three studies speak to that point, and all three all cast doubt on the intuitively appealing idea that giving uninsured people health insurance ipso facto saves lives.
To rebut the one study that Yglesias believes to be on point (Kronick), he offers two others. Yet all studies are not created equal. Kronick, Finkelstein/McKnight, and Levy/Meltzer represent the most reliable work that has been done on the relationship between health insurance and health. If I am wrong about that, I hope that one of those authors or another expert in the field will correct me.
But if I am right, it means that Yglesias and Klein are slandering Joe Lieberman and millions of others based on their (Yglesias’ and Klein’s) limited and distorted understanding of the world. (And even if I’m wrong, the Washington Post’s Charles Lane explains why Klein’s slander is still wrong.)
Then again, considering that Yglesias also has another post suggesting that Lieberman and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are “dumb” Jews free-riding on the intelligence of other Jews, I’m not sure that the Church of Universal Coverage is open to persuasion right now.