Skip to main content

only 46.3 million?

The new number of uninsured arrives, and of course, we learn it has gone up to 46.3 million and that the number would be larger were it not for the growth of government programs like medicaid. The key number here though is "2008"; according to http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/7838 we've lost 6.9 million jobs since the recession began in December of 2007, and I believe the majority of these have been over the past twelve months. Job losses for late fall and winter 2008--09 were some of the largest by month, and the vast, vast majority of these people have not yet been counted as uninsured.

Medicaid is seeing greater numbers qualify for their programs, so in a way, we will be moving toward a larger government-run option regardless of what Congress and the President are able to pass later this month. Medicaid is hardly a solution for middle-class people who lived within their means and were able to save money over the course of their now-interrupted working lives. Both Republicans and Democrats represent themselves as catering to middle-class savers, so it would seem that fixing existing programs, including Medicaid, could help government officials improve their standing in polls of the "American people." (As it turns out, according to http://www.rasmussenreports.com, 78 percent of us feel we should be able to purchase the same coverage as our elected officials.)

Let me explain why Medicaid doesn't help savers. For the most part, Medicaid is a state-run program, and I've learned that in one state a family can have no more than 30,000 dollars in savings to qualify regardless of their current income (including retirement savings, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401ks, 403bs, etc.). This means that the hypothetical person who loses his or her job must buy COBRA or another private policy (read "commercial catastrophic coverage") in order to have any health insurance until they've depleted their savings. 30,000 American dollars is certainly a nice a chunk of change, but in the larger picture, when rent plus groceries plus utilities plus health insurance plus everything else is included we see that even a single person with no smoking or pre-existing conditions in a shared-living arrangment (who of course only ate on Tuesday nights at the Sonic 50-cent burger window) could move through that rather quickly.
So what?

So not much more than my expectation is that over 50 million Americans will be seen as without health insurance for 2009 unless they all qualify for medicaid because there is so little cash left in their bank accounts.

Does doing nothing in fact lead us to the single-payer solution? Congressman Joe Wilson, did I see you raise your hand?

Comments

mjamesrizza said…
Interesting post. Last night Obama was talking about some bridge program (which McCain supported) that will help people who can't wait several years for Health care reform. It sounds like a good idea. Yet I don't know how this will work or what it means. Any idea on this?

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Russian Novels!

L.U.S.K. is excited to feature a guest post from Aisha O'Connor-Fratus, writer, editor, parent, and blogger at Hell's Domestic Backside. Enjoy this list of Aisha's ten favorite Russian novels:
1. Anna Karenina (Lev Tolstoy, 1873 to 1877). Anna is rich and bored. Anna hates the way her husband chews his food. Count Vronsky—played by Christopher Reeve, so handsome) sweeps Anna off her feet! But things do not end well for Anna.
2. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880). Not about a traveling circus acrobatic troupe. Its sweeping explorations of God, free agency, and morality are timeless and haunting. My favorite part is Ivan’s reciting of the poem “The Grand Inquisitor” in which Christ is resurrected during the Spanish Inquisition.
3. Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky, 1866). Life-long graduate student Rodion Raskolnikov tries to justify an unspeakably immoral act with eugenics and hey—a guy needs to eat.
4. Rudin (Ivan Turgenev, 1856). Dmitry Rudin talks the talk, but…

The Writing Life Starring Iain Levison

Iain Levison's Dog Eats Dog was published in October, 2008 by Bitter Lemon Press and his even newer novel How to Rob an Armored Car will be published by Soho Press in October, 2009. Back in '00 or so, L.U.S.K. first discovered Levison's A Working Stiff's Manifesto in hardcover with its original subtitle, "Confessions of a Wage Slave." That memoir established Levison's scalding wit and ability to hold the attention of an ever-tweeting audience. It was later released as a trade paperback with a supercharged second subtitle, and Levison has managed to survive, publish, and publish again. With long-terms roots in Scotland and Philadelphia, Levison currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he commits literature and carpentry as much as he can.

USK: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and when did you first identify as a writer?
IL: Writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at. Well, the only legal thing. Early on, I realized t…

Auggie's Revenge: Reviews, Interviews, and Excerpts