Charles Ghoul-ba 👻 Profile picture
Healthcare policy data analysis, advocacy & snark. If you find my work of value, please support it at
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25 Oct
⚠️📣 Remember 4 wks ago when @DLeonhardt posted his "Red Covid" story citing my data showing the death rate since June was 47/100K where Trump received >70% of the vote vs. just 10/100K where he received <32%?

See that highlighted sentence at the end? 1/… Image
Here's the graph he was referring to. He took the average of the 1st & 2nd brackets to get the "10/100K" estimate since he was trying to match <30% to >70%. 2/ Image
WELL, it's been exactly 4 weeks since then, and guess what? Yes, the gap has indeed kept growing since then:…
Read 4 tweets
25 Oct
📣 AMERICA 2021 IN ONE IMAGE (weekly update):…
Where things stand as of 10/24/21:

--There's still only 5 counties which have fully vaccinated at least 90% of their total populations. Total population: 39,000.

--5 more counties have fully vaxxed at least 80%. Total population: 93,000
--49 counties have fully vaxxed 70 - 80% of all residents. Total population: 20.71M

--239 counties have fully vaxxed 60 - 70%. Total population: 77.12M

--661 counties have fully vaxxed 50 - 60%. Total population: 130.54M
Read 4 tweets
24 Oct
I had an incident which wasn't nearly as bad as this, but in the 4th grade, I was in the "gold reading group." We had started reading a new book when my family left the state for a week's vacation (I think it was for my cousin's Bat Mitzvah or something). 1/
Since I was gonna miss a week of school, the teacher gave me the full week's worth of assignments/etc, including reading the next couple of chapters of the book.

I enjoyed the book so much I read the whole thing while on vacation.

When I got back the following Monday... 2/ teacher found out I had read the *entire* book, and instead of praising me, KICKED ME OUT OF THE "GOLD" GROUP (and into the "Bronze" group) for reading ahead.

Apparently she'd planned on discussing foreshadowing that week to see if we could guess what would happen next. 3/
Read 6 tweets
22 Oct
This is starting to sound less like the Crow tragedy and more like the Twilight Zone: The Movie tragedy.
For those too young to remember: The feature film version of The Twilight Zone consisted of an anthology of 4 short films. One of the four stories was directed by John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers, Trading PLaces, etc.)…
This segment was about a racist/bigot who finds himself experiencing hate/fear as a Jew in Germany during the Holocaust, a Black man being hunted by the KKK, and as a Vietnamese man being fired at during the Vietnam War.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
📣 📣🧵 NATIONAL 2022 #ACA premium rate changes: +3.9% on average, but VAST majority will pay FAR less thanks to the #AmRescuePlan!…
As of yesterday, I finally wrapped up analyzing the 2022 individual & small group health insurance market premium rate filings for all 50 states + DC.

As of this writing, I have the average *preliminary* rate changes for every state, & the *approved* changes for 19 of them. 2/
Once the remaining 32 states are locked in, the national weighted average rate increase will likely be a point or two lower, but as of right now it's around +3.9%.

This ranges from ⬇️4.8% in Arizona to ⬆️ 15.5% in New Mexico. Individual carriers vary greatly as usual. 3/
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct
Chilling: Mississippi is just 100 deaths away from COVID having killed 1 out of every 300 residents of the state.
Meanwhile, here’s where things stand nationally:
UPDATE: Re the racial factor: Here's the county-level COVID death rate since 6/30 for MS based on what % of the pop. is Black, according to the 2020 Census.

Note that this is based on what % of the *total* population is Black, not what % of deaths are among the Black population. Image
Read 6 tweets
13 Oct
📣 WEEKLY UPDATE: U.S. #COVID19 Vaccination levels by COUNTY & Partisan Lean:…
Once Again: America in One Image: Image
Having said that, it's worth noting that both the R2 and the Slope appear to have plateaued, and have even dropped slightly.

This was bound to start happening eventually as the most-vaxxed counties start bumping up against their thresholds (until 5-11 yr olds are eligible): ImageImage
Read 7 tweets
12 Oct
📣 WEEKLY UPDATE: Has the COVID Red/Blue divide finally peaked??…
Two weeks ago, the new COVID case rate since 6/30 in the reddest tenth of the population was running 3.06x higher than in the bluest tenth.

As of today that's dropped slightly, to exactly 3.0x higher: Image
What about the COVID *death* rate since 6/30? Two weeks ago that was running 5.5x higher in the reddest tenth than the bluest tenth.

Today that ratio has *increased* to 5.76x higher...

...however, deaths are a lagging indicator, so it's possible this, too, will start to shrink. Image
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Could I also once again point out that Superman is literally a member of an alien species, which presumably means that human concepts of gender wouldn’t really apply anyway?
“Superman can’t be Black! That makes no sense!”
“Superman can’t be bisexual! That makes no sense!”
“Superman can’t cause time to reverse itself by flying around the Earth really fast and reversing its rotation! That makes no…oh, wait…”
Oh yeah: Superman can’t use a phone booth to change into his costume anymore either, since there’s no longer any phone booths. Thing change. You have to roll with it.
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
📣 NEW: As promised, my own response to @ggreenwald & @JeremyBeckham regarding their criticism of @DLeonhardt's NY Times story and my own COVID red/blue divide analysis:…
I really hope folks will actually read the full piece (there's over a dozen graphs & tables), but here's a couple of key ones.

First, here's the most recent breakout of COVID death rates since 6/30/21 by partisan lean. This is the graph which caused such a fuss in the 1st place:
8 days ago the death rate since June in the reddest 10th of the country was 5.5x higher than in the bluest 10th.

Today it's increased to 5.7x higher.
Read 6 tweets
2 Oct
Hey, look at that…I’m being attacked by Glenn Greenwald! I must’ve made the big time!
The author notes that Utah's COVID death rate ranks 45th nationally. That's true....since the beginning of the pandemic. However, my data specifically covers the period of the Delta variant, starting on July 1st, 2021...and Utah's death rate ranks 27th since then. 1/ Image
Re. the author's final claim--that if I had focused on UTAH at the county level, the NY Times wouldn't have been interested--he might want to rethink that.

(I had to modify the bar groupings because there's no way of breaking Utah into even 10ths at the county level) ImageImage
Read 17 tweets
27 Sep
📣 NEW: @DLeonhardt of the NY Times cited my work which concluded that the death rate in the highest Trump-voting counties is several times higher than in the lowest Trump counties.

I just posted a new analysis which brings this data up to date:…
According to the latest vaccination, case & death rate data from the CDC, state health depts & John Hopkins University tracker, as of yesterday... 2/
--The vaxx rate in the reddest tenth of the U.S. is currently 38% lower than in the bluest tenth.

--The COVID case rate since 6/30/21 in the reddest tenth is 3.1x higher than in the bluest tenth

--The COVID death rate since 6/30/21 in the reddest tenth is 5.5x higher.
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
Holy crap. Mari Manoogian is my state representative.
Yesterday GOP MI state rep Steve Marino claimed innocence. Today the personal protection order against him includes threatening texts he sent her including wanting her car to blow up.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep
🚨 NEW: The CDC has updated their COVID Community Profile Report w/Florida's weekly *county-level* death breakout. This allows me to update the bar graph w/the death rate since June by Trump 2020 vote for 99.4% of the U.S. population (50 states + DC only) in two different ways.
🚨 If you go by flat 10-point election increments, the death rate since 6/30/21 in the reddest/Trumpiest counties are over NINE TIMES HIGHER than in the bluest counties.
🚨 However, only 116K people live in the former & just 1.7M live in the latter, so I've also run it a second way.

If you break the population into 10 brackets of ~33.1 million apiece from blue to red, the death rate for the Trumpiest 10% is *still* 5.1x higher:
Read 12 tweets
19 Sep
And once again: No, insurance carriers can’t raise premiums on unvaccinated folks and no, it’s not a good idea to change that.
Here’s a refresher:…
HAVING SAID THAT, there's nothing stopping *employers* from increasing the contribution level of their employees towards their premiums, which is what Delta is doing.

Also, as @ErinBurnett notes in the original tweet, COVID patients *are* being charged a ton in other ways now.
Read 4 tweets
19 Sep
CMS reminds people on unemployment they can STILL #GetCovered in a FREE #SecretPlatinum plan this year via!…
I can't begin to tell you what a #BigFrigginDeal this is if you don't have healthcare coverage and received unemployment benefits for even a single week in 2021. You can STILL enroll in practically FREE coverage for the rest of this year.
Premiums: $0 (that's right...FREE.)
Deductible: A few hundred bucks at most
Other Out of Pocket expenses: A few hundred bucks at most.

As long as all services are in network, you're limited to extremely low out of pocket expenses.
Read 4 tweets
19 Sep
🧵 THREAD: If I'm reading the @uscensusbureau's data correctly, White (alone) people now make up 61.2% of the total U.S. population. 1/
According to @CDCgov data, assuming I'm reading it correctly, it looks like "Non-Hispanic Whites" also make up almost exactly 61.2% of all COVID deaths to date.

"But wait! I thought COVID was killing Black, Hispanic, etc. people at a disproportionately higher rate!" 2/
Well, that WAS true for most of the pandemic to date...but (again assuming I'm reading the CDC data correctly), it looks like that has changed over time.

From the beginning of 2020 up through Election Day, it looks like only 54.4% of all COVID deaths were among White people. 3/ Image
Read 8 tweets
18 Sep
Good grief. I do not envy the @uscensusbureau their task when it comes to categorizing people into different racial demographics. 1/
On the surface, it seems simple enough: They have 6 different racial (not ethnic) categories:

--Am. Indian/AK Native
--Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

However, then we get into "2 or more races" and things get...complicated. 2/
--White + Black/AA
--White + Am. Indian/AK Native
--Black + Am. Indian/AK Native
--Black + Asian

...and they even go into 3+, 4+, 5+ and finally have a column for someone claiming to be *all 6*. 3/
Read 9 tweets
16 Sep
⚠️ Annnnnnnd there it is: COVID death rate by county since 6/30/21 by Trump 2020 vote, now including Florida, updated as of 9/15/21.
Note that besides Nebraska, this doesn’t include several thousand deaths whose county of residence is unknown. Also, some of Florida’s deaths to date still won’t show up for another couple of weeks.
FWIW, the death rate in the reddest bracket is 8.2x higher than in the bluest bracket. Of course, there's only a tiny number of people living in either of those, so it's probably more representative to look at the 5.5x ratio between the 80-90 & 10-20 brackets.
Read 5 tweets
16 Sep

“Alex Murdaugh turns himself in on charges connected to insurance fraud scheme”…
This entire story is batshit bonkers.
Read 6 tweets
15 Sep
📣 BOOM: White House & HHS announce 2.8M additional #ACA enrollees via 2021 SEP & #AmRescuePlan!…
#ACA SEP enrollment via the 36 states is 2.8x higher than for the same period last year (pre-#AmRescuePlan) and 3.7x higher than in 2019 (pre-COVID).
Middle-class enrollees (>400% FPL income) jumped from 2% of #ACA exchange enrollees to 7% thanks to the #AmRescuePlan's subsidy expansion.

Existing #ACA exchange enrollees are saving an additional $67/month apiece thanks to the #AmRescuePlan!
Read 7 tweets