Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sick and Tired

Number of Uninsured Rises to 46.3 Million:

The number of Americans without health insurance rose to 46.3 million last year as people began losing jobs and coverage in the current recession. The poverty rate hit 13.2 percent, an 11-year high.

The Census Bureau's annual report released Thursday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of American households for 2008, the first full year of the recession. It comes as Congress engages in its high-stakes debate over health care overhaul, following a renewed plea Wednesday night by President Barack Obama to pass sweeping legislation.

The numbers for 2008 do not capture the economic impact in the first half of 2009 as hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their jobs and likely their health insurance. Speaking at the White House, Obama acknowledged that the number of those without coverage may be higher than the Census figures.

Way higher. And while the president and members of congress continue to dither on health care reform (while enjoying, btw, one of the best insurance plans in the country), people continue to get sick, go bankrupt, and die in this country needlessly.

If you want to read an incisive, often profane, explanation of what's wrong with the White House and Congress in this debate, check out Matt Taibbi's blistering analysis in the latest Rolling Stone.

It's amazing how people's health and their right to health care can be so brazenly sold down the river of politics. It's nothing new, but it's sickening nevertheless (so to speak).

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