Saturday, November 29, 2008

George Bush Hates Poor People

Besides creating more poor Americans, two terms of President George Bush provided additional burdens for low income families. The latest blow involves government provided health coverage. A federal regulation officially allows states to charge a portion of the health insurance premium. Medicaid can add higher copayments for doctor visits, hospital care, and pharmaceuticals.

Poor people are expected to pony up $1.3 billion in cash or credit for care. Over the same five year period, state and federal governments will save $2.5 billion. However, George W. is a notorious sandbagger when it comes to estimates. If history is a guide, poor people will pay much more and government savings will be larger. How many people are at risk for reduced access to care, due to financial constraints?

13 million Medicaid recipients
46.5 million uninsureds
25 million underinsureds
2 million dual eligibles under Medicare Part D
Much of the total 86.5 million at risk Americans arose during Bush's eight years in office. His corporate sponsored White House has a clear legacy of shame. Unfortunately, the pattern continues as America races to the lowest common denominator on worker pay and benefits. With business pulling away from the traditional health insurance benefit and government shifting costs to the poor, average folks will pay. Some may do so with their life, given the Bush team's acknowledgment "some individuals may choose to delay or forgo care rather than pay their cost-sharing obligations."

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