Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Study Shows Rising Number of Uninsureds Are Middle Income

Dear President Bush,

How will Tony Snow spin the results of the latest health insurance study showing an almost 50% increase in the number of uninsureds in the moderate to middle income category? The shift happened entirely on your shift as our nation’s CEO.

I fully expect him to say something about high deductible health plans and health savings accounts, only this time you might want to arm him with some statistics on how your signature strategies are projected to stem the storm surge of increasing uninsureds while not adding legions of underinsureds.

With Josh Bolten trying to keep Wall Street happy, this could be as dicey as your razor edge immigration proposals. How will you keep the open door for employers to dump their health insurance benefits costs or at least cut them by 30-40% by switching to high deductible health plans?

The study show middle income citizens are feeling the pain of outstanding medical bills. Statistics show cost saving care is avoided by people without the means to pay. Yet, your plans continue to shift the responsibility for this care to the individual, or at least grease employers plans to do the same.

Did you see the challenges insiders have getting quality healthcare in the May 1 edition of Time magazine? If doctors with insurance coverage have such difficulty, what are the chances a worker covered under a high deductible plan with no health savings account will get high quality acute or emergency care?

It looks like health care is going the way of energy with "market forces" taking hold. At least the President’s Energy Plan of 2005 had incentives to grow supply. Despite your calls of 1,500 counties having their OB/GYN “driven out of business”, you propose no strategy to increase the supply of physicians. America’s Medical Colleges are projecting a shortage of 38,000 to 258,000 doctors by 2020.

So what do you recommend the average American spend their money on, rapidly rising gasoline or increasingly unavailable and unaffordable health care? Write me back, I want to know.

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