45.7 million of the inhabitants of the U.S. are uninsured. From that figure..
6.4 million are a Medicare undercount
9.3 million are not U.S. citizens
10.1 million earn over threetimes the poverty level
5.0 million are childless adults between the ages of 18-34
That leaves 10.6 million uninsured, who will still receive treatment in cases of emergencies.
I had been meaning stay out of this. You have managed to construe my silence in one of the ways that is more unpleasant to me. I am allied with what I see as the truth, not with somebody who hasn't asked by opinion would imagine it to be.
I have no idea what the actual number of uninsured people may be today. What is clear is that there is a correlation between unemployment and insurance coverage, just as there is between unemployment and crime. If you have no job, one of the first things to go is your ability to pay your Cobra coverage. When the choice is between Cobra coverage and food or Cobra coverage and rent, a person has some hard decisions to make. They don't give you a special discount on your rates, and the amount of time you're covered on the company policy is limited. That's the way it is.
So, whatever the number of uninsured may have been a year ago, it's higher now, and it's growing.
I don't know what a Medicare Undercount is. Does this mean that the Bush government doesn't know the number of checks it was sending out, or that it was excluding people from medicare rolls that should have been there, but had been kept off for one reason or another that simply wasn't kosher. Having been the therapist of several folks who were shut ins or disabled schizophrenics during the Reagan era, I know first hand that this would not be the first time such tactics to reduce "entitlements" have been used. Is this possible? The very phrase is linguistically slippery.
The 9.3 that aren't US citizens is also an interesting inclusion. Mr. Hennessey is suggesting here that we don't really have an obligation to take care of the people in our country who can't prove they are citizens when they are wheeled into the admissions room of a hospital without an insurance card or a large amount of cash. I would suggest that this is class warfare at its best. No money, no care. If you have the money or insurance, we won't ask about citizenship, because it isn't to the point. If you don't have the money or the insurance, then not only are you sick, but you have to prove that you're a citizen as well at the time when you're most vulnerable. Money and insurance, no problemo; No money, no insurance, our only concern is that we ship you out to the right country. The reason Mr. Hennessey has added them to the list is that he thinks we can exclude them from people we should allow to have health care in this country, isn't it? Otherwise, they wouldn't have made the list. Class warfare.
10.3 million of them earn over three times poverty level. Let's look at that a minute. If you look over Mr. Hennessey's entire list, you will notice an interesting thing. While he includes "childless adults" as a catagory, at no point in this list does be mention children, the physically disabled, and the psychiatrically and developmentally disabled. They have magically been cleansed from his world. They do not exist for him. He makes a point of talking about single persons, but does not mention married persons. Unless there are no married persons in Mr. Hennessey's world, we must believed that they are scattered throughout his list. I suspect, in looking at this list in particular, that of the people earning more than three times poverty level wages, which by the way, doesn't seem like such a huge amount to me these days, a certain fairly high percentage of them would be married families averaging four members. 15 years ago, when insurance was a common and not terribly high cost benefit for working class families, this wouldn't have been such a problem. This is not true today.
At any rate, the figures that Mr. Hennessey quotes here would then tend to be a little bit suspect. You wouldn't count 9.3 million people having incomes of three times poverty level. You would be counting perhaps a quarter that number of families with that income level, with the figures jimmied to suggest that each of those family members was earning what the total income of the family was. Without having any families included in this list, or any children, or any of the other groups that I've mentioned, including the homeless, whose census fluctuates with the difficulty of the times, we've got to be clear as to how these figures are being manipulated. As the titles of the thread says: How to lie without lying.
Over five million are childless adults between the ages of 18 and 34. Ah, yes, those folks. In the late seventies and early eighties, in a great but failed attempt at both increasing civil liberties and cutting state budgets to the bone, factors appealing to both left and right, State Psychiatric Hospitals across the nation were emptied of as many patients as could possibly be managed. The idea was that they would be quartered in a series of halfway houses set in communities across the nation. The whole process was called deinstitutionalization. As one, a chorus of voices rose from the backyards of our country and sang the words of that hallowed old favorite, Not In My Back Yard!
And in their wisdom, our elected officials sang in return, "So Shall It Be, For It Is Good!"
18-34, is, by the way, the most common age of onset for both schizophrenia and Bipolar disorders, though you will find cases starting at both older and younger ages in both cases. When they are lucky, these folks are insured through the government, and they frequently go through the hospital system for illnesses of one sort or another. When young, they are often in denial of their illnesses and have frequent brushes with the law and may not be picked up by the government health system because they may give aliases and for other, odder reasons.
Frequently they are simply too concerned with other things to get signed up and their lives may be too unstable to hold a steady enough job to pay for it.
Apparently the other 10.6 million are okay with Mr. Hennessey, and apparently with you.
Grinch has already pointed out your misreading of the quoted text.
Had you actually read the report of "The non-partisan Lewin Group" which you excerpt, you might have found out why the "fizzle out" seemed likely. That is that the insurance offered by the government appeared to be about 30% cheaper for the same coverage. They also mention what appear to be some flaws in the government plan that I think should be addressed. Not being very good with figures, I can't tell you much about them. I'd be interested in what Grinch has to say.
I do notice that while you are incredibly acid about the government proposed health plan, as are the Republican members of congress, none of you are willing to make a principled stand and give up your government health insurance. You and I had a discussion, in fact, where you stood up stoutly for the quality of that insurance and of the care it provided, and I believe that the care you are getting currently is a good the the care you've had before.
I would suggest to you that there may be a bit of a contradiction in your positions in the two discussions. I don't demand consistency from you or anybody, really; it's not really fair. But when it's not there, it's sometimes useful to think about on one's own.
OBAMA: No family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s. (Obama's campaign promise)
When George H.W. Bush said, "Read my lips, No New Taxes!" did you think he was taking responsibility for hikes in city, county, and state taxes?"
New York has always had very high taxes, and New York City has always been exceptionally high for New York State. Most people can't afford to live there now. The real estate alone is unbelievable, the theater is wonderful but sky high. In this, it is like London, where the prices are about double; maybe less now. There are cheap places to live, but it's unclear that you'd want to live there. Same with Paris. I'm told Rome is much the same.
You actually want to blame the Condition of New York on President Obama? And where is that bridge you want us to buy again?
If the cost of health care goes into a five percent tax surcharge, for many of us, that comes out of a much greater payment we make already.
You have some idea of the quality of the program because you're in the pilot program now. Perhaps you like to tell us all about how bad it is and how it doesn't work, Mike?
You'll remember I think it's been underfunded and not well managed for yours now.
You've been throwing that words Lie and Liar a lot here, Mike. I think it would be useful if you read your own sources a bit more critically and thought about what they were saying, and about what the implications of their statements were.
Sincerely, Bob Kaven