Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Junk Data (updated)

New data shows that the Fair Share for Health Care Act will have a positive effect on New York's economy, creating as many as 21,600 new jobs in our state. But McDonald's the fast food industry is on the attack anyway, releasing a report today through a fast food industry front group that intentionally misleads the public and the press about the effects of the bill.

They trot out the same Chicken Little complaints that were used to argue against our successful work to raise the minimum wage. Those complaints were proven wrong in a recent study from the Fiscal Policy Institute (via DMIBlog), which found that increasing the minimum wage helped New York's economy, creating more jobs because working families have more money to spend, powering the economy.

Here are a few of the specific instances where McDonald's the fast food industry gets it wrong:
  • Junk Data Point #1: "This policy would ignore over 83% of the uninsured in New York."
  • The Healthy Truth: The Fair Share for Health Care Act:

    • Extends health insurance to more than 450,000 uninsured New Yorkers currently working for large employers (approximately 17% of the total number of uninsured in New York).
    • Moves 200,000 New Yorkers from Medicaid and Family Health Plus to employer-provided health coverage.
    • Strengthens health care for 3.5 million additional New Yorkers working for large employers.

  • Junk Data Point #2: "The cost per newly insured employee will be as high as $19,617 a year."
  • The Healthy Truth: The cost per covered employee of the Fair Share for Health Care Act is less than $2,000 per year. The report's spin applies the total cost of the bill to covering approximately 450,000 uninsured workers. This ignores the effect of the Fair Share for Health Care bill in:

    • Moving 200,000 workers from Medicaid and Family Health Plus to employer-provided health coverage.
    • Strengthening health care for 3.5 million New Yorkers who have insurance but face exorbitant co-payments, rising co-premiums and unrealistic deductibles.

  • Junk Data Point #3: "The low-end job loss estimate exceeds 69,000 during the first year of the mandate; the high-end job loss estimate is nearly 100,000 jobs."
  • The Healthy Truth: After taking into account (1) new jobs created in the health care industry by providing cost-effective primary and preventive care and (2) the effect of multi-national corporations spending more money in New York rather than exporting it out of New York, as many as 21,600 net new jobs are likely to be CREATED by the Fair Share for Health Care Act.
It makes you wonder how much McDonald's the fast food industry benefits from an unlevel playing field where most businesses do the right thing and provide health care while big corporations dump their employees on public assistance to increase their profit margins. McDonald's The fast food industry should come clean and say if the real reason they oppose the Fair Share for Health Care Act is because they don't want to compete on a level playing field.

Take the time to tell McDonald's and its front group to get their facts right.

UPDATE: McDonald's rang to disclaim responsibility for the efforts of the industry front group, the Employment Policies Institute. They're off the hook, but we're going to keep on digging to find the junk pushers.

1 comment:

Steve R said...

How about some truth on the fact that the premium you pay for the exact same health plan in the exact same state, even if you have the exact same age, sex, health history, address, etc. varies considerably based on the employer you work for ... particularly by the size of the employer firm and their "insured risk pool". This is a built in bias against small businesses and individuals. In response, reform should require "community rating" and a menu of "defined benefit plans" both filed with the state insurance department and posted on publically open department website, which says that everyone in a defined geographic area (defined by area's prevailing healthcare costs) pays the same rate for basically the same health coverage. Now that's a level playing field.