Wednesday, August 05, 2009

NPR Makes Case for Rationing Health Care

You could also call this "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics," but that title is taken. Study: Treating Fractured Vertebrae May Not Help : NPR They cite 2 studies: the first contained 63 people. The second contained 78 people.

Now, I'm no statistician, nor am I an actuary. (I don't even play one on TV.) But 141 people - out of all the people in the world (since 1 study was in Australia) who have back pain - doesn't strike me as a large enough group to produce any meaningful data.

Neither of these "studies" was a rigorous double-blind, either. So exactly why was NPR covering this story on "your doctor may not know what's good for you" health care funding topic?

It couldn't be they are trying to shore up the "but rationing is good for you" side of the debate, is it? No, they wouldn't imply that a government functionary* could be better at picking the best medical care.

* That would be a bureaucrat, with a fancy title and a handful of questionable statistics.

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