Showing posts with label Drugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drugs. Show all posts

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Con Man Carnicella


Above is an ad run by Democratic Cambria County Commisioners Tom Chernisky and BJ Smith against their opponent, Republican Jerry Carnicella.  They take him to task for not voting in the last two commissioner elections, being delinquent on his taxes and supporting a single payer/Medicare for All healthcare system.  I can't comment on the first two allegations against him but I can on the third.

In 2016 when he was challenging John Wozniak in the Democratic Primary for his state senate seat and I was organizing for Bernie Sanders, he called me offering his support.  He talked about his support for single payer and how he could get the Paterno family involved in the campaign.  I suspected he was full of it because the Paterno family are Republican.  

He lost to Wozniak and then two years later he ran as a Republican against State Rep. Frank Burns and nearly won.  Now he is running for county commissioner and the Democratic and Republican establishments (led by Mark Pasquarilla and the other GOP commissioner candidate Scott Hunt) are organizing against him.  He was the top vote getter in the GOP primary this year while positioning himself as a pro Trump Republican.


Jerry Carnicella (left) and Scott Hunt
Carnicella responded to the criticism of his healthcare position by pointing out that "Ok so now the viewers are lost and confused and our heroes start talking about me wanting to take peoples social security and Medicare away from them . Yeah like I’m going to take away the two best benefits I receive as a man over 65 ! If that’s not crazy enough let me remind everyone that they are both federal programs and a county commissioner has absolutely no say when it comes to those things .But what they are alleging is that he wants to take private insurance away and replace it with a single payer plan which he didn't really answer.

Interestingly his opponents are not taking him to task on his proposal to close down all of the methadone clinics in the county.   He says addicts should be given Narcan or Vivitrol only once and then forced into a county owned treatment program.  All of this vindictiveness would would drive addicts further underground a running to their friendly neighborhood heroine dealer.

Carnicella is much like Trump.  Trump once supported Single Payer back in 2000 but now is on board with repealing Obamacare an immigrant bashing.  Chernisky and Smith are trying to use single payer to drive a wedge between Carnicella and Republican voters.  Trump's GOP opponents tried that to no avail.  We'll see what happens on election day.


**Related posts**


Losses in Registered Democrats have Accelerated Since 2016 for Cambria and Somerset Counties (PA)


Friday, August 2, 2019

Why do African Americans live to be 64.8 years in Cambria County? Not drug overdoses.

Back on April 4, I posted on how African American life expectancy in Cambria County lagged behind the state and US rates and behind other groups.  This can be seen in the Table below.  Questions were put to me on how the opioid epidemic might be related to this discrepancy.


Group Life Expectancy (Years)
Cambria County[1]
Pennsylvania
US
Overall
75.6
78.3
78.6
Caucasian
76.1
78.9
78.5
African-American
64.8
73.4
74.8
Hispanic
87.7
85.3
81.8



[1] Source National Center for Health Statistics - Mortality Files

Drug overdose deaths for Cambria County 2015-2018

The website Overdose Free PA presents drug overdose data for Cambria County and the other 66 Counties in the state.  It states that between 2015 and 2018 there were 299 drug overdose deaths in the county.  90% of these deaths were Caucasian and 8% were African American.  78% of the deaths were between the age of 25 and 54.  67% were male.  Many of the dead had multiple drugs involved.  



County
Deaths 2015-2018
2018 Population
Deaths/100,000
Cambria
299
131,730
227.0
Bedford
41
48,176
85.1
Blair
141
122,492
115.1
Centre
72
162,805
44.2
Clearfield
52
79,388
65.5
Fayette
219
130,441
167.9
Indiana
157
84,501
185.8
Somerset
98
73,952
132.5
Philadelphia
3,960
1,584,138
250.0
Allegheny
2,243
1,218,452
184.1
Pennsylvania
17,900
12,807,060
139.8

The County does have a high rate of overdoses compared to the surrounding counties with 227 deaths per 100,000.  Compared to the post populous counties in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia had a higher rate at 250 deaths per 100,000 while Allegheny at 184.1/100,000.  The State rate for this period was 139.8 deaths per 100,000.

The the % of African-American deaths (8%)  was higher than their % of the population of the county (3.4%), these numbers suggest that opioids were less involved in the low life expectancy for African Americans.  However, they do suggest that they are involved in low numbers for Caucasians.  In Cambria County Caucasian life expectancy was 2.4 years lower than the US rate and 2.8 years less than the Pennsylvania rate.  The low life expectancy for African Americans appear to be driven by a high child mortality rate as seen in the table below.  Child mortality is different from infant mortality.  it refers to deaths after infancy.



Period
Cambria County YPLL Rate
2012-2014
2014-2016
2015-2017
Overall
8,397
8,602
10,335
Caucasian
8,424
9,671
African American
14,892
24,443
Child Mortality (dealths/100,000)
2012-2015
2013-2016
2014-2017
Overall
52
56.7
60
Caucasian
48.3
43
African American
171.5
253


YPLL stands for years of potential life lost for years lost before age 75.  For example, if someone dies at age 25 then they have 50 years of potential life lost.

`**Related Posts**

Cambria County African American Life Expectancy lags behind State and US

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Adjusting for Opioid OD Rates for PA Counties

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Adjusting for Opioid OD Rates for PA Counties

Two posts I talked about how ago I spoke about how educational attainment (defined as having a bachelors degree or higher) and and the % white in Pennsylvania counties predict 86% of Trump's vote in the state.  Once in a while new county level data is released and I add it to the regression mode.  The Pennsylvania Health Cost Containment Council came out with the opioid overdose rate for people age 15 years and up for every county in the state in cases per 100,000.  Cambria county was ranked 5th in the state while Philadelphia was ranked first even after adjusting for population.

After looking at the table of rates for each county I noticed that there were 25 counties with NR as the rate.  These are for counties with less than 10 OD cases in a county.  Counties with small populations would have really high od rates while it would be really low for ones with a large populations.  This would make the rates less stable.  Another reason why the the rates for counties with low numbers of ODs are not reported is to protect the privacy of those who have OD.

The missing rates could be imputed using an imputation technique for the 25 missing counties.  The simplest method would be to use the midpoint of the range for a missing rate (0 to 10 cases) and compute the rate by dividing by the population of interest.  For these counties the differences in the rates would be determined by differences in population.  This is a crude method of replacing the missing rates with plausible values.  There are more sophisticated imputation methods based on other descriptive values for the counties but one cannot really draw firm conclusions about these imputed values.  

Because of the missing data I thought it best not to add it to the model for Trump's % of the vote.  Below are a sampling of the rankings of rates for the 42 counties with rates.  In parenthesis are the total OD cases on which the rates are based.

1. Philadelphia 47.3 (603)
2. Lackawanna 41.3 (74)
3. Delaware 40.4 (186)
4. Beaver 40.2 (57)
5. Cambria 39.2 (45)
6. Westmoreland 38.2 (116)
20. Blair 30.7 (32)
40. Indiana 18.9 (14)

**Related Posts** 

Education and Race Account for Outliers in Trump's Vote at the State and PA County Level

How is Washington DC an outlier? Let's count the ways. (Repost from Data Driven Journalism)

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