Thursday, February 02, 2006

Six Million More With No Health Insurance Under Bush

The tough thing about being a policy-wonkish kind of person is that, when George W. Bush gives a speech, the urge to see just how many lies and hypocritical statements were made becomes quite overpowering. And it can take days to refute such a massive pile of B.S.

We talked yesterday about the extent to which Department of Homeland Security stats prove that, far from defeating terrorism, the number of terror incidents has gone through the roof under the Bush administration’s watch.

As I read through the president’s speech again – it’s not quite as agonizing when you don’t have to listen to him delivering the lies and distortions – I again saw this inspiring passage:
Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. (Applause.) Our government has a responsibility to provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. (Applause.) For all Americans -- for all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. (Applause.)
Something about the “…meeting that responsibility” part didn’t sound right to me – perhaps that I knew it was total nonsense – so I went to one of the government’s best sources of statistical data on our people, the U.S. Census Bureau.

It appears the president uses the same metric for success in health care as he does in combating terrorism because it looks like, in this White House, millions more Americans without any medical insurance is the sign of a major accomplishment.


As you can see, 39.8 million of us had no health insurance when the Supreme Court awarded Bush the presidency and 45.8 million have no coverage as of the end of 2004. The numbers aren’t out yet, but you can bet that figure will go still higher when we see how many people lost their insurance in 2005.

So there you have it. Six million more Americans unable to go to the doctor since Bush took office and he crows that his team is “meeting that responsibility” on keeping America healthy and well.

"I am the master of low expectations," Bush once said of himself.

You can’t say he didn’t warn us.