Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Why Bush Didn’t Mention Health Insurance on Labor Day

Because his plans aren’t sufficient to address the myriad of problems contributing to America’s ever rising numbers of uninsured. Recently released data shows the impact of President Bush’s stumping across the country promoting health savings accounts in 2005. U.S. employers responded by dropping health insurance benefits, only 59.5% of Americans have insurance through their workplace, the lowest number in 12 years.

Nearly 75% of workers who lost their benefits were full time.

Almost 80% of the uninsured in America are U.S. citizens.
(Contrary to the Republican myth that illegal immigrants are largely responsible for this problem.)

The number of U.S. children without health insurance increased by 400,000 last year.

Most of the government sponsored insurance numbers growth came from adults with disabilities.
(Yet, the Bush plan calls for people to drop off the Medicaid rolls.)

Is that why he didn’t include Medicaid, SCHIP, Health Centers and other Health and Human Services programs in his recent Executive Order regarding quality and cost of services? Leaving out programs for low income persons seems odd, unless one plans for them to go away or to shift the burden to states or individuals.

Of course he could be spreading out the business that will shift to the private sector. A phased approach would enable Multiplan or other politically connected organizations in the cost/quality niche to get all the business over time. Might they need time to close that recent acquisition? The news release stated “For over twenty years PHCS has been the national leader in health care cost management”.

The data shows the Bush policies continuing to fail the American people while he sets up business friends for more lucrative government contracts. Should anyone be surprised by now?

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