Saturday, September 12, 2009

Health care crisis grows while Congress delays

There is a health care crisis in America.

Every day 14,000 people lose their health care coverage.

According to the latest Census Bureau report the number of people with private or employer-sponsored insurance has declined precipitously, while the number of people relying on government insurance programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the children’s insurance program and military insurance rose for the 8th straight year.

Despite all the controversy over the need for a public plan almost a third of all Americans (29%) who have health insurance are already on one!

The share of adults aged 18-64 without health insurance rose, to 20.3 percent in 2008 from 19.6 percent in 2007.

The share of children who were uninsured actually fell, to 9.9 percent from 11 percent in 2007. This was the result of the federal government’s special efforts (a public option) to insure low-income children, SCHIP which was originally vetoed by the Bush administration.

In a speech last Thursday to promote health care reform, President Obama referred to the census survey and said that things had grown significantly worse since September 2008 when this data was recorded. “Over the last 12 months, it’s estimated that the ranks of the uninsured have swelled by nearly six million people,” he said.

More Americans die every year because they don't have access to health care then die from Parkinson's, homicides and HIV/Aids. The lack of health care is literally killing people and Congress is wasting time on debating imaginary death panels!

The lack of universal health insurance is undermining American families and the economy.

Half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by the lack of health insurance or inadequate coverage. $104 billion is lost in productivity from shorter life spans and $103 billion in productivity from poor health. Put another way we lose $4500 in lost productivity for every uninsured person.

This country cannot afford to wait while Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats, all of whom have comprehensive government financed health care, dawdle in Washington DC.

The American health care system is broken. It is the most costly in the world while delivering mediocre results.

President Obama and the United States Congress need to enact healthcare reform that includes a public option so that health care costs are reduced and all Americans are insured.

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