Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Past and Present Clinton Drama

While much has been made of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the 70th anniversary of the end of the Nazi Germany.  Future battles loom over the successor of the first African American president.  While the aforementioned historical events are infinitely more interesting it is important to look back at how we were introduced to the Clinton's 23 years ago.

In early 1992 President Bush was thought to be unbeatable due his "triumph" in the Persian Gulf War but his poll numbers were slipping due to the economy.  Clinton was running to challenge the President but was dogged by allegations of marital infidelity and draft dodging.  Fox news did not yet exist, Rush Limbaugh was just bursting onto the national scene, and  Roger Ailes (now head of Fox News) was considered a genius for getting George Bush elected with the Willie Horton ads which were Lee Atwater's idea (he later apologized to Michael Dukakis before he died in 1991).  The Clinton's responded be going on 60 Minutes to present their case. 

How much and how little has changed today. Hillary Clinton has to defend herself against frivolous charges (Benghazi) from the right while having little real competition from the left and our problems don't really get solved.  The stage where the game is played changes but the outcome has been the same without people working for real change.  The Kyl-Liberman in 2007 was a call to curtail Iranian violence inside Iraq in  2007.  In 2016 we are likely to have another contest between a Bush and a Clinton unless there is a seismic shift in political discourse in the next few moinths.

**Related Posts**

Why does the right demonize Nancy Pelosi?


Nancy remains. Now what about Harry (and now Barry)?


2012: A 2004 Election Rerun?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Impact of the ACA (Obamacare) in Utah and Pennsylvania by Ethnicity and Race

I have just relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah for a job.  I've decided to look at how the state differs from my former state Pennsylvania.  The graph above shows the trends for both states and the US from 2006 to 2014 (the method they used to collect the data changed in 2008 which is why there is a break in the lines from 2007 to 2008).  The rates for Utah are a lot closer to the national rates than are Pennsylvania's

The rates for the US and Utah decreased significantly from 2010 to 2013 with a decrease from 17.7% to 16.8% in the US and with a larger decrease from 16.7% to 15.3% in Utah.  The decrease for Pennsylvania over the same period was smaller from 12.1% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2013.

Looking at the Uninsured rates by race reveals a different picture.  For African Americans, The high year in Utah was 2008 with a rate of 21.5% with a decrease to 18.5% in 2013.  The US rate peaked in 2010 at 19.9% with a decrease to 18.5% in 2013.  The PA rate for African Americans peaked in 2009 at 16.2% with a decrease to 15.4% in 2013.

The rates for Hispanics are significantly higher than Caucasians or African Americans in the US as a whole and for both PA and UT.  Utah's rates are significantly higher than the US rates for all years shown with a peak of 40.1% in 2008 decreasing to 33.8% in 2013.  The US rate for Hispanics peaked at 32.6% in 2009 to 30.0% in 2013.  For PA the rate increased from a low of 21.5% in 2008 to a high of 23.3% in 2011 leveling off to 22.7 in 2013.

The Caucasian uninsured rates for UT and the US corresponded very closely until 2012 and 2013 when the UT rate decreased from a high if 13% in 2010 to 11.7% in 2013.  The US Caucasian rate peaked at 13% in 2010 to 12.3% in 2013.  The PA rate increased from a low of 9.1% in 2008 to a high of 10.4% in both 2010 and 2011 decreasing to 9,8% in 2013.

The changes in the rates for minority groups do not correspond in the same way to the main events of the passage of thee Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 or the Great Recession of 2009.  The ACA was fully implemented in last quarter of 2013.  Medicaid expansion has not yet been implemented in either state but it has been in 23 states with an additional 5 considering their own version of expansion.  The national rate has so far not shown a dramatic drop in the rates.  If one adds Connecticut (one of the first states to expand Medicaid) to the first chart there was a slight decrease in the uninsured rate in 2011 from 10.4% to 10.1% with an increase to 10.9% in 2013.

PA was implementing it's own version of expansion under Gov. Tom Corbett but is now considering a standard expansion.  Utah is debating which way to go with it's expansion.  Next years estimates should provide a clearer picture of the effect of the exchanges and medicaid expansion.

Where the States Stand
Via: The Advisory Board Company

**Related Posts**

The Affordable Care Act Having Little Effect on PA's Uninsured in 2013


Latino rates in Pennsylvania's Uninsured (Cross Post with PUSH)


A Statistical Profile of the Uninsured in Washington, DC, New Mexico, and Texas


Racial and Gender Differences in Pennsylvania's Uninsured


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Affordable Care Act Having Little Effect on PA's Uninsured in 2013

This post is a Cross-Post with  
trends PA SAHIE The Census Bureau has released the 2013 Small Area Health Insurance Estimates for all counties and states in the US. The trend for the Pennsylvania and the US from 2006-2013 can be seen above. The US rate has decreased from a high of 17.7% in 2010 to 16.8% in 2013. Likewise the PA rate has decreased from a high of 12.1% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2013. The last quarter of 2013 was when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went fully into effect. The 10 counties with the highest rates in the state are given below. Since 2009, Philadelphia County had the highest rate in the state but in 2013 Sullivan county had a 2.4% increase in the 2013 (outside it's margin of error) rate and replaced Philly as the top rate in PA. Philadelphia County had an increase of 0.7% in 2013 which was exactly at its margin of error. The top 10 for 2012 are shown below as well as the trend for the state and its 67 counties.

county % Uninsured 2013 MOE Uninsured 13 (+/- %)
1 Sullivan 17.10 1.60
2 Philadelphia 16.50 .70
3 Forest 15.00 1.60
4 Susquehanna 14.20 1.20
5 Juniata 14.10 1.30
6 Snyder 14.10 1.30
7 Lancaster 14.00 .90
8 Monroe 14.00 1.10
9 Potter 14.00 1.30
10 Clinton 13.70 1.30

county % Uninsured 2012 MOE Uninsured 12 (+/- %)
1 Philadelphia 15.80 .70
2 Sullivan 14.70 1.40
3 Lancaster 14.50 .90
4 Susquehanna 14.40 1.20
5 Mifflin 14.30 1.30
6 Forest 14.20 1.50
7 Juniata 14.10 1.30
8 Crawford 13.80 1.10
9 Bedford 13.70 1.10
10 Indiana 13.60 1.20
County % Uninsured2008 % Uninsured2009 % Uninsured2010 % Uninsured2011 % Uninsured2012 % Uninsured2013
Pennsylvania 10.60 11.70 12.10 12.00 11.70 11.60
Adams 11.60 12.40 12.40 12.50 12.30 12.40
Allegheny 9.10 10.40 10.40 10.30 10.20 9.80
Armstrong 12.20 11.80 12.10 12.10 11.30 11.80
Beaver 9.70 9.90 10.20 10.90 10.10 9.80
Bedford 12.80 12.80 14.40 14.30 13.70 12.70
Berks 10.40 12.40 12.40 12.70 13.10 12.30
Blair 10.30 11.80 12.20 11.20 11.20 10.90
Bradford 11.60 12.90 13.80 13.40 13.10 12.80
Bucks 7.60 8.00 8.80 8.70 8.70 8.50
Butler 8.70 9.80 9.70 9.60 9.10 8.60
Cambria 11.10 12.10 12.00 11.20 10.60 10.40
Cameron 12.50 13.00 13.10 12.40 11.80 11.90
Carbon 11.60 11.90 13.40 12.40 12.20 12.20
Centre 10.60 11.20 12.60 11.80 12.00 11.60
Chester 7.90 8.50 9.50 9.50 8.80 8.80
Clarion 12.70 13.60 13.80 13.50 12.40 12.10
Clearfield 12.60 13.50 13.20 12.70 11.80 12.70
Clinton 11.50 12.60 13.40 13.80 11.90 13.70
Columbia 11.30 11.90 12.00 11.90 10.20 11.10
Crawford 13.20 14.10 14.60 14.80 13.80 13.70
Cumberland 9.30 9.90 9.70 9.70 9.70 9.60
Dauphin 10.20 11.80 11.70 11.70 11.60 12.00
Delaware 9.10 10.00 10.90 10.20 10.60 10.60
Elk 9.90 10.70 10.80 11.30 10.30 9.60
Erie 11.00 11.30 11.90 12.50 10.60 10.90
Fayette 12.10 13.80 13.50 13.30 12.80 12.50
Forest 13.40 15.10 14.20 13.90 14.20 15.00
Franklin 12.80 13.80 14.00 14.60 13.20 13.50
Fulton 12.90 13.30 13.30 12.90 12.60 12.30
Greene 10.90 13.10 11.30 11.10 10.10 10.10
Huntingdon 12.80 15.30 12.30 12.70 11.50 11.80
Indiana 12.00 13.70 13.90 12.50 13.60 13.40
Jefferson 12.10 12.70 14.20 13.90 13.00 13.00
Juniata 13.60 14.30 15.60 14.40 14.10 14.10
Lackawanna 10.20 11.10 12.60 12.20 11.80 11.10
Lancaster 13.20 13.90 14.40 14.20 14.50 14.00
Lawrence 12.10 11.90 12.70 12.30 11.70 11.10
Lebanon 11.60 11.70 12.10 11.10 12.30 12.60
Lehigh 11.60 12.00 12.80 13.30 13.60 13.00
Luzerne 10.40 11.40 12.90 12.50 12.70 12.50
Lycoming 10.70 12.40 12.60 13.50 11.50 11.30
McKean 10.30 12.90 12.40 11.90 11.90 11.40
Mercer 10.70 11.90 12.10 12.00 10.70 11.50
Mifflin 12.90 14.50 15.80 14.90 14.30 13.50
Monroe 12.20 12.50 13.40 14.40 13.50 14.00
Montgomery 7.30 8.00 8.10 8.40 8.00 8.30
Montour 7.90 10.00 10.00 10.50 8.90 9.00
Northampton 9.80 11.40 11.10 11.10 11.20 11.30
Northumberland 12.10 13.30 13.30 13.00 12.90 12.40
Perry 12.90 12.10 14.20 14.40 12.80 13.00
Philadelphia 13.80 16.30 16.50 16.30 15.80 16.50
Pike 12.40 11.50 13.60 13.10 13.60 12.90
Potter 11.30 13.10 14.40 13.70 12.70 14.00
Schuylkill 10.70 12.10 12.00 12.30 12.30 11.90
Snyder 12.40 15.10 14.00 14.90 13.30 14.10
Somerset 13.30 14.10 15.00 13.90 12.80 13.40
Sullivan 15.60 14.80 15.90 14.30 14.70 17.10
Susquehanna 12.70 13.40 14.80 14.00 14.40 14.20
Tioga 12.70 14.70 14.70 14.20 13.40 12.50
Union 13.70 16.70 13.70 12.30 12.00 12.20
Venango 10.90 12.40 12.90 12.30 12.10 12.10
Warren 10.00 11.90 12.40 12.70 12.10 11.70
Washington 10.70 10.10 10.70 10.70 9.60 9.60
Wayne 13.20 13.20 14.80 13.50 12.90 13.10
Westmoreland 9.90 10.10 10.50 10.20 9.60 9.30
Wyoming 11.00 11.30 11.30 11.80 11.90 11.50
York 10.30 10.20 11.10 11.70 10.90 10.90
 **Related Posts**

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Recent Uninsured Trends and the ACA

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2013 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Are Out for School Districts and Counties in PA

Monday, March 16, 2015

ACA Support "All Time High" with Changes Wanted

Views of the ACA Now Reps Dems Inds
Working well, keep as is 6% 1% 14% 5%
Good things, but changes needed 60% 41% 73% 61%
Needs to be repealed entirely 32% 56% 13% 32%
In the five years since it's passage, polling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still remarkably consistent. The above table of a CBS poll of 1,006 Americans taken in February says that only 6% of the US public like the ACA as it is, including 1% of Republicans. While in the same poll 44% overall support the ACA while 52% say they are against. It would be helpful to cross tabulate the approval question with the one above to see how those who want changes approve vs how many who want changes disapprove. Another poll from Reuter's/Ipsos of 2,348 Americans on the ACA asks them about their opinions of its various provisions. Overall, each provision is popular with at least a 70% approval except for the individual mandate at 44%. The pattern is similar for Republicans and Independents with at least 60% approval for each provision except the individual mandate at 26% for Republicans and 40% for Independents. The table below from the Reuters/Ipsos poll does not mention single payer but it does ask respondents about which approach would to healthcare reform that they would favor.
When you think about healthcare reform in the United States, which of the following solutions comes closest to your opinion?
Total Dem Rep Ind
The Government should be the sole provider of healthcare insurance
12% 19% 6% 12%
The Government should have a major role in providing healthcare insurance
21% 35% 9% 14%
The Government should have a limited role in providing healthcare insurance
28% 20% 42% 32%
Only private companies should provide healthcare insurance 14% 6% 27% 15%
Unsure 25% 20% 15% 27%
Looking at the above table it may seem that only 33% of the US public believe that the US Government should be the sole provider or have a major role in providing health insurance. The problem here is the wording of the question. The words major, limited, and sole provider have ambiguous meanings which can be interpreted differently by different people. What is a major role for some US may be considered a limited role for many in Canada, Great Britain, and the many other countries with universal countries and vice versa for other groups. If one combines those who support sole government providership with those who support a major and a limited role for government, 61% of the public supports such an approach. Broken down by political party, 57% of Republicans, (6% for sole provider + 9% major + 42% minor), 58% of Independents, and 74% of Democrats support such an approach. This formulation is more consistent with an AP/Yahoo poll question which is more concisely worded seen below: Which comes closest to your view? 34% - The United States should continue the current health insurance system in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance 65% - The United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers 2% - Refused / Not Answered The challenge for the single payer movement is to show a skeptical public how it can make the necessary changes for healthcare in the face of propaganda determined to stifle sensible reform.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dissecting "Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them" (From the American Family Association)

Listening to all the debate on whether Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly lied about his claims of being in a war zone in Argentina and the Falklands reminded me of how Al Franken (then a comedian now a US Senator from Minnesota) in 2003 wrote a book Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell them: A Fair and Balanced Look at The Right.  In that book he used statistics and fact checking to debunk a lot of the claims of the right as in the clip above.  If Fox News really cared about the truth they would've canned O'Reilly years ago.

Last year, I used this method to investigate claims about the above map from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that California was a hotbed of hate groups by adjusting the number of groups in each state with the population in each state and a different pattern emerged.  One of the groups named in the above map is the Anti Gay Evangelical American Family Association (AFA) who has responded by creating the below anti Christian "Bigotry Map" of groups that are against their agenda (including SPLC).

At first glance, the two maps may look similar.  A much greater concentration of groups is seen in the east rather than the west with some increased clustering on the west coast and it is interactive.  The most glaring difference is that the SPLC map has numbers listed of the types of groups exist nationwide and their website provides the counts of groups in each state which allows for someone like me to double check.  The AFA map by comparison does not provide numbers.  When one goes to the interactive version we see that many of these groups are atheist, secular, LGBT, and hate group monitors like the SPLC.  I don't have the time to go through each state and count the number of groups to find out which state has the highest concentration of "bigots."  

Looking at my home state, Pennsylvania, I counted a grand total of four groups of "bigots" as opposed to 41 hate groups there.  These four groups are the Freedom From Religion Foundation in State College (an Anti Christian Group), the Pennsylvania Nonbelievers in York, PA (Atheist Group), GLSEN Pittsburgh (an LGBT group), and Americans United in Yardley, PA.  Dividing by the population of PA (12.7 million) that gives a rate of 0.31 groups of "bigots" per million and a rate of 3.21 hate groups per million.  The size of the icons on the map makes them seem a lot more numerous than they really are.

**Related Posts**

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Post Inspiration from Facebook, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.

Inspiration for a post can come from anyplace for me: a discussion, a news story, or anything else that seems worth investigating.  I posted the above photo on a more conservative Facebook friend's page. A lively debate on exactly what percentage of climate scientists believe in the evidence supporting climate change.  

Another place I often draw on for inspiration is Comedy Central's The Daily Show and the now defunct Colbert Report (it's replacement, Larry Wilmore has potential and may be a future source).  Stewart had originally studied science when he was an undergrad at William and Mary.  He was able to employ the critical thinking skills gained from science in his method of hosting the show and in choosing a wide variety of guests not seen on commercial television. 

Out of 230 posts on this blog, a keyword search turned up 31 post for The Daily Show.  A simple search for Colbert turned up an additional 32 posts.  Granted there is some overlap in the posts between the two shows.  There are nine posts where both Colbert and Stewart appear.  Subtracting that nine that leaves 54 posts where either Stewart or Colbert appear (31 for Stewart plus 32 for Colbert minus 9 for posts where both appear).  Dividing the 53 posts by the total of 230 on this page, that means either of that these two shows appear in 23% of the posts on this page.

It may be time for these two shows to move on but it's important to acknowledge the contributions that these man have made to this blog.  They have provided valuable insights which greatly supported this blog.  This is our moment of Zen.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Deflating Super Bowl Dynasties

Much has been made of "Deflategate." Will Bill Belichick get his comeuppance?  Will Gisele Bundchen leave Tom Brady over deflated footballs?  Will Aaron Hernandez spill the beans to make a deal to save himself from a life sentence (Massachusetts has no death penalty)?  Did Bill Belichick put LeGarrette Blount up to walking off the field when he was with the Steelers so he could be picked up at a bargain basement price.

Seattle may be the sentimental favorite now but their coach Pete Carroll did, after leading USC to a national championship, abandon them for Seattle right before the program was put on probation by the NCAA for recruiting violations.  If Seattle wins there will be talk of a dynasty and the possibility of a three peat.  They have the 7th youngest team in the league in average age at 25.65 years while the Patriots have the 11th youngest at 25.76 years (the Raiders have the oldest at 27 years while the Rams have the youngest at 25.09).  The Patriots may be a waning dynasty with six Super Bowl appearances in the last 13 years and winning 3 in four years from 2001-2004.  The Patriots missed their bid for a three peat with a loss to the Broncos in the divisional playoffs in 2005 which is the last team to have a three peat chance.  There have been other teams that have come close to a three peat in the Super Bowl but none have made it.

Green Bay The last team to win three straight championships ('65, '66 Super Bowl I, and '67 Super Bowl II) but the Super Bowl did not exist in 1965 as it did in '66 and '67, bummer.  Lombardi quit in 1967 and they would not get back to the Super Bowl until 1996 (Super Bowl XXXI).

Miami Dolphins They were the first team to appear in the Super Bowl three years in a row (Super Bowls VI, VII, and VIII) winning the last two.  They missed their bid for a third straight title losing in the 1974 divisional playoffs to the Oakland Raiders.  That game was called Super Bowl VIII & 1/2 but the Raiders lost the AFC championship game to the next team on this list.

Pittsburgh Steelers After beating Oakland in the AFC championship game in '74 and '75 (in '75 the Raiders accused the Steelers of turning the field in Three Rivers Stadium into an ice field) they went on to win Super Bowls XI and X.  The '76 season was one of the Steel Curtain defenses best (and the best of all time) recording five shutouts and allowing an average of 9.86 points per game.  The Raiders finally had their revenge however in the AFC championship defeating them 24-7 (partially to the use of stick em on their hands and Franco Harris being hurt).  After winning their fourth super bowl in 1979 they went 9-7 in 1980 and missed the playoffs.  It would be ten years before another team would get a chance to three peat and that is...

San Francisco 49ers After winning the a thrilling Super Bowl XXIII against the Cincinnati Bengals and a boring Super Bowl XXIV against the Denver Broncos, the 49ers went 14-2 under Joe Montana and Jerry Rice but lost in the NFC championship to the New York Giants on a last second field goal.  The Giants would go on to defeat the Buffalo Bills in a thrilling Super Bowl XXV.  The 49ers would soon replace Montana with Steve Young as the quarterback.  They would lose to the next team on this list in the NFC championship in the next two years.

Dallas Cowboys After trouncing the Bills in two straight super bowls by a combined score of 82-30, coach Jimmy Johnson left after a blow up with owner Jerry Jones.  He would be replaced by former Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer who led them to the NFC title game against Steve Young and the 49ers.  The 49ers built a 31-14 halftime lead.  The Cowbows rallied in the second half but came up short 38-28.  They would become the first team to win 3 in four years the next year against the Steelers.

Denver would become the next team to win the super bowl two years (ending a 13 year drought by the AFC) in a row but John Elway would retire after the second and the Broncos did not make the playoffs.  The difficulty in three peating may be a reflection of the parity in the NFL.  Over the same period (1966-2015) two teams have won the Stanley Cup four years in a row (Montreal and the New York Islanders), the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers have won the NBA title three years in a row on two occasions and one respectively all under coach Phil Jackson, and the Oakland A's and New York Yankees have won the World Series three years in a row over this period.  This suggests less parity in these leagues than the NFL.  Does more parity lead to a greater desire to cheat to get ahead of the competition?


Bill Nye the science guy has his funny take on deflategate, global warming, and who he would like to see win.

The Patriots won on a thrilling last second interception so the Seahawks hopes of a dynasty are deflated, for now at least.  Cheer up Bill Nye you still have science. 

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