Yesterday, the US Census Bureau released a major report that outlines poverty and other issues in this country including health care coverage. The stats are for 2008. Looking through it today, one thing really stuck out:
Over one-third of Americans are already covered by “government health insurance”.
Over one-third. 255.1 million Americans have health insurance and 87.4 million are “covered by government health insurance”. That’s 34.3%!
And Republicans are worried that the federal government is “taking over” health care? Really?
And, actually, the number is probably higher than that. As pointed out in an article in the Detroit Free Press today:
…the numbers do not reflect the economic downturn in the first half of 2009 when hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their jobs and health insurance.
In Michigan, the number of uninsured people rose 1.3% to over 1.1 million, a figure “that did not include thousands of people who continue to lose coverage in the state’s troubled economy.”
So, while the Republicans and their teabagger minions try to inflict “death by a thousand” cuts on health care reform by focusing on small components of the legislation or on MADE UP components of the legislation, the fact is that a giant proportion of our health insurance in this country is already administered in the government. And this happened long before President Obama and other Democrats launched this health reform effort. And it’s also the part of our health care system that is in the best shape (Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, SCHIP, etc.)
Perhaps this is a message that needs to be put out into the debate.
One other interesting thing to note is that the top five states in terms of percentage of uninsured citizens are as follows:
- Texas — 24.9%
- New Mexico — 23.0%
- Florida — 20.5%
- Louisiana — 20.1%
- Arizona — 19.6%
Notice anything in common with these states? Yup, all in the south and all but one with Republican governors.
I’m just sayin’…