President Barack Obama is spreading disinformation about health care almost as quickly as he's driving up the national debt, such as that 47 million Americans can't get health care and that a government takeover would be a panacea.
Democrats have constantly demagogued the 47 million uninsured figure to gin up public fear about the scarcity of health care access, especially for the poor. They follow up with the promise that under their plan, we would achieve universal access. But both are untrue.
In "The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care," Sally Pipes points out that while there are some Americans who simply can't afford health insurance, many millions who can afford insurance choose not to buy it and "very likely would not want to be 'rescued' by mandatory socialized medicine."
In the first place, the 47 million number is grossly inflated. The Congressional Budget Office survey generating it included those who were uninsured for any part of a year, despite the fact that almost half of these remain uninsured for an average of only four months.
Some 38 percent of this 47 million -- almost 18 million -- make more than $50,000 a year, and 10 million of them make more than $75,000. Of all the uninsured groups, this is the only one that is growing, because in a still-free country, they've made their own decision not to buy expensive insurance while (most of them) are young and healthy. The Census Bureau also reports that more than 10 million of the uninsured are not American citizens.
But how about the very poor? Well, it turns out that the Democrats are shedding crocodile tears here, as well. Pipes explains that "as many as 14 million of the 45.7 million uninsured -- poor and low-income Americans -- are fully eligible for generous government assistance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP." But "they're just not enrolling in the programs."
So while Obama tells us that almost 8 million children lack health insurance, he doesn't disclose that 5 million of them only lack insurance because they haven't been enrolled in the available programs. Not only would this fact undermine the urgency of his appeal; it illustrates that even under his "universal access" plan, not everyone would acquire coverage anyway. Indeed, the CBO has estimated that some 17 million would remain uninsured if the Democrats' plan were implemented.
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