Saturday, September 26, 2009

Needs better talking points

National Review's Stephen Spruiell tries to play conservative backstop on the circumstances leading to the death of Kimberly Young in Oxford, Ohio. The death has gotten attention because she initially delayed seeing a doctor due to lack of health insurance. So --

The median starting salary for Miami University (Ohio) graduates is $47,100.

• A healthy 22-year-old female in Oxford, Ohio can purchase serviceable health insurance ($30 co-pay for office visits) for $55 a month, according to

This young woman's death is indeed tragic, but it is not an indictment of the U.S. health-care system, cheap left-wing moralizing to the contrary notwithstanding. Many capable young people forgo stable careers in order to try their hands at starving-artistry. The rest of us are under no obligation to subsidize that choice.

First, his stated data source is from a highly selected sample:

Typical (median) starting graduates were 25 years old and had two years of experience ... All those surveyed were full-time employees of U.S. companies ... combined base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable ...

It's pathetic to have to spell it out, but you can't compare the economic fortunes of a 22 year old just-graduated with a median 25 year old in a sample of people with full time jobs. Especially in 2009, when there's like, a recession and stuff!

So his economics is shite. What about the "starving artist" bit? Apparently this comes from her interest in human rights and photography. She had two part-time jobs. His resentment appears to relate to her interests rather than her income. And those online health insurance policies get more expensive quickly once you get into the specifics of an individual quote and finding a policy with accessible doctors. And the companies selling them have to impose restrictions on when the policies can start because otherwise people would only buy them when they're sick. This isn't difficult stuff. But some people want to make it that way.

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