Uninsured Have Cancers Diagnosed Later, Reducing Survival

This study falls in the category of proving something most people probably already realized was true, but it is still useful to have the actual evidence. The New York Times reviews a study from the American Cancer Society which shows that people with insurance are more likely to have cancer diagnosed at an early stage. Those who are uninsured, or only have coverage through Medicaid, are more likely to have cancer diagnosed in later stages, reducing their chances of survival.

The widest disparities were noted in cancers that could be detected early through standard screening or assessment of symptoms, like breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and melanoma. For each, uninsured patients were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed in Stage III or Stage IV rather than Stage I. Smaller disparities were found for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and cancers of the bladder, kidney, prostate, thyroid, uterus, ovary and pancreas.

When comparing blacks to whites, the disparities in late-stage diagnosis were statistically significant for 10 of the 12 cancers. Hispanics also had a higher risk but less so than blacks.

The study’s authors concluded that “individuals without private insurance are not receiving optimum care in terms of cancer screening or timely diagnosis and follow-up with health care providers.” Advanced-stage diagnosis, they wrote, “leads to increased morbidity, decreased quality of life and survival and, often, increased costs.”

For those who don’t want to go through the numbers, Dr. Otis W. Brawley, the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer, sums it up by saying, “There’s evidence that not having insurance increases suffering.” Again, not surprising, but here we get the hard evidence.

Cross posted at The Carpetbagger Report 

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David Corn Accuses Clinton Of Smearing Obama on Iraq

Hillary Clinton has frequently used the Rove technique of attacking the opposition on their strongest points. This includes attacking Obama on Iraq even though on the fundamental question of supporting the war Clinton was wrong and Obama was right. David Corn writes that Clinton once again smeared Obama on Iraq.

After a review of Clinton’s distortions, Corn concludes:

This is not the first time Clinton has mischaracterized Obama’s position on Iraq. In New Hampshire, Clinton claimed that Obama had broken a significant promise: that when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 he vowed “never” to vote for Iraq war funding but then did so once he was in the Senate. This was part of her effort to persuade Granite State voters that Obama was an all-show/no-work hypocrite. There was one problem with her use of this example. It was not true. Though Obama did oppose an $87 billion funding bill for Iraq and other matters in 2003, he didn’t say he would “never” vote for Iraq war money. When he later voted for funding bills, he was not, as Clinton insisted, breaking a promise.

Clinton and her gang are certainly entitled to raise questions about Obama’s experience and his record–including on the war. Though Obama did speak out against the war before entering the Senate, he was not a leading voice of antiwar opposition in his first years as a senator. (Neither was she during those that period.) But Clinton and her aides have been peddling false information about Obama to undercut one of his primary arguments: she voted for the war; I was against it. Engaging in such disingenuous attacks may help Clinton beat back Obama, but it is hardly the way for her to counter Obama’s claim that she represents poltics-as-usual. It only proves his point.

Obama Bought Home Without Rezko Discount

Yet another Clinton attack line on Obama has been debunked now that all the facts are out. The couple who sold Obama his Chicago home have finally given the whole story, which should put an end to Clinton’s attacks regarding Rezko. Bloomberg reports:

The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator’s $1.65 million bid “was the best offer” and they didn’t cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land, according to e-mails between Obama’s presidential campaign and the seller.

The Illinois senator has said he made a “boneheaded” move in involving contributor Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Chicago businessman, in the purchase of the property on June 15, 2005.

Rezko’s wife, Rita, also an Obama donor, bought the adjoining plot in Hyde Park from the couple, Fredric Wondisford and Sally Radovick, for the $625,000 asking price, the same day that Obama bought the house for $300,000 less than the asking price. Antoin Rezko was under federal investigation at the time.

Rezko was indicted on unrelated fraud charges 16 months later, in October 2006. Obama has since returned about $85,000 in campaign contributions made or raised by Rezko. Obama’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, has questioned Obama’s ties with Rezko.

“We still don’t have answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr. Rezko,” Clinton, 60, a New York senator, said in a Feb. 11 interview with the Politico newspaper.

The sellers hadn’t previously made their side of the story public out of concern for their privacy, according to Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign. They approached Obama’s Senate office 15 months ago and agreed to break their silence now through the campaign out of concern that the story was being distorted in the media, Burton said…

Burton said Obama, 46, toured the property with Rezko for 15 to 30 minutes at some point before the purchase. Burton said Obama wanted Rezko’s opinion of the property because Rezko was a real-estate developer in the area. Burton said he didn’t know when the pre-sale tour occurred.

Burton said a campaign adviser discussed the sale with Wondisford by phone and followed up with an e-mail to Wondisford repeating his points. Wondisford responded: “I confirm that the three points below are accurate,” according to the e-mail, provided to Bloomberg News and authenticated through records shown by the adviser.

The e-mail says that the sellers “did not offer or give the Obamas a `discount’ on the house price on the basis of or in relation to the price offered and accepted on the lot.” It also says that “in the course of the negotiation over the sales price,” Obama and his wife, Michelle, “made several offers until the one accepted at $1.65 million, and that this was the best offer you received on the house.”

Intolerance And The Derailing of Health Care Reform

There’s some more ridiculous Obama-bashing on health care in the blogosphere today, this time starting with a post by Mike Lux at Open Left. The complaint is that Jim Cooper advocated more moderate health care reform than Clinton while in Congress and he is now a health care spokesman for Obama. The twisted logic here is that Cooper was more moderate than Clinton on health reform in the 1990’s and therefore Barack Obama is not serious about health care. This argument is taken to its absurd extremes by Paul Krugman, who continues his ongoing attacks on Obama:

This fits in with my sense, based on everything we’ve seen in this campaign, that Obama just isn’t all that committed to health care reform. If he does make it to the White House, I hope he proves me wrong. But as I’ve written before, from my perspective it looks as if a dream is dying.

This is typical of the logic of the Clinton camp to ignore everything which Obama has actually said about his dedication to health care reform and instead fabricate a case based upon disapproval of a surrogate. Even if everything negative they are saying about Cooper was true, it would still be Obama’s views and not Cooper’s which ultimately matter.

There are also other problems with the attacks on Cooper. The reason we did not achieve health care reform in the 1990’s is the fault of Hillary Clinton, not Jim Cooper. Clinton proposed a poor health care plan. She showed then, as she shows now, that she simply does not understand economics or health care delivery. Politically Clinton made the mistake of demanding her plan without being willing to compromise. Others, such as Cooper, attempted to propose plans which might actually have passed in Congress. As Brad DeLong writes:

What Mike Lux, “veteran of the Clinton health care wars,” knows–but is very careful not to tell you–is that in 1993-1994 health care reform needed 60 votes in the Senate in order to defeat a Dole-led filibuster, and that Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) was vote 55. “undermin[ing] Clinton’s health care plan by… [working] with former Senator and current lobbyist John Breaux” translates as “working on bills that might actually pass the senate.”


Plagiarist Clinton Accuses Obama of Plagiarism

The latest nonsense to come out of the Clinton camp is charges of plagiarism against Obama. The charge is based upon similarities in a passage from a speech that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick used at a campaign rally in 2006. The problem with raising a charge of plagiarism is that it is only plagiarism when a line is used without permission.

Patrick has defended Obama and criticized Clinton’s campaign for this attack. Both Obama and Patrick freely admit that they share ideas. Patrick is currently an adviser to Obama. There is nothing wrong with Obama using a line with Patrick’s permission.

The other implication in this attack is that Obama is incapable of using his own words. Obama responded to this charge:

“Now hold on a second. I mean, look here, I’ve written two books. Wrote most of my speeches,” he said. “So, I think putting aside the question you just raised in terms of whether my words are my own, I think that would be carrying it too far. Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and, you know, he’s occasionally used lines of mine. I was at a [Jefferson-Jackson] dinner in Wisconsin used some words of his. And, you know, I would add that I know Sen. Clinton on occasion has used words of mine as well.”

Obama said he frequently gives credit to others for ideas or language he has gotten from others. “I’m happy to give Deval credit, as I give to a lot of people for spurring all kinds of ideas,” he said.

While Patrick is willingly sharing ideas with Obama, Hillary Clinton has felt free to borrow words from Obama without permission.

The Obama campaign immediately struck back with a document headlined: “Here are a couple of places Clinton freely borrowed rhetoric from Obama.”

Among the examples are Clinton’s use of Obama’s signature chant “fired up and ready to go” in Davenport, Iowa, and later her echoing of his rally cry, “Yes, we can!”

A question from Jack Tapper at the Clinton conference call shows yet again how Hillary Clinton does not believe the rules apply to her:

I asked Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass, if they could assure the public that neither Clinton nor McGovern has ever done what Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, did when he used the rhetoric of Gov. Deval Patrick without footnoting him.

They would not.

In fact, Wolfson seemed to say it wouldn’t be as big a deal if it were discovered that Clinton had “lifted” such language.

“Sen. Clinton is not running on the strength of her rhetoric,” Wolfson said.

No she is not. Senator Clinton is running on the strength of whatever bogus attack she can come up with to attack Obama with every day. The Clinton campaign regularly holds conference calls such as this to feed surrogates and friendly blogs the same talking points to use to attack Obama. This is the consequence of running for president based upon claims of inevitability and false claims of having greater experience as Clinton is grasping for anything to try to convince a declining number of supporters to vote for her.

Cross posted at The Carpetbagger Report 

Guest Blogging at The Carpetbagger Report

Drop by and visit at The Carpetbagger Report where I’m guest blogging today. I’m really not sure how much I’m going to post both here and over there. The day started out looking quite busy, and on top of it the Michigan weather resulted in some damage to the roof at my office over the weekend, which is making things even more hectic as we work around the messier parts of the office. A new round of that “lake effect snow” (in contrast to real snow) has now started coming down, so this might scare away some people and give me some unexpected free time this afternoon.

My first post today at The Carpetbagger Report is a slightly revised version of a post from the weekend on the Republican claims that Obama will create a theocracy. Hopefully I’ll get some time for new material over there and will also cross post here.