Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pick a number

(there are lots to choose from. just pick your favorite one!)

There are an awful lot of numbers being thrown around. They are very big numbers. I'm surprised nobody has gotten hurt.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is getting all kinds of attention, because they are in charge of estimating the cost of health care reform. Their preliminary number for the House plan was $1 trillion over 10 years.

BUT - an anonymous congressional aide said it could actually cost $1.5 trillion.

So that's the number the conservatives are running with. In fact, the Dallas Morning News used the inflated estimate just this morning in an article. I have also seen it in an AP story, right here. And I understand Rush Limbaugh has gleefully quoted the same figure.

Now, I really don't understand the importance being placed on this number. Why should a massive overhaul of our country's health care system cost NOTHING? Haven't we spent billions in Iraq? Are the conservatives screaming about that?

But fine. Pick a number. Stick to it. Sooner or later, it will catch on.

Then, this morning, I saw Ron Insana on MSNBC. He said that the vast majority of the uninsured are either children who could be covered under CHIP program, or illegal immigrants who presumably should be either kicked out of the country, or left on a street corner to die. Preferably not on my street.

Anyway, according to Ron, that would leave only 8 million people without insurance.

Once again, my brain is tired.

But fine. I did a little research. According to the NCHC, about 80% of the uninsured are citizens. And the number of uninsured children in 2007 (who may or may not qualify for CHIP) was 8.1 million. Let's stick with the 2007 figures, since that's what I found.

Total uninsured (2007) = 46 million
Minus # of noncitizens - 9.2 million
Minus # of children - 8.1 million
Total uninsured adults = 28.7 million

Your number seems to be a little off, Ron. Not that it matters. I'm sure you will stick to it. Maybe it'll even catch on.

Here's the number I pick: ZERO.

That is the number of Republicans I plan to vote for in my entire lifetime, if they kill health care reform.

It's a nice round number. I'm sticking to it. And I hope it catches on.



  1. Both parties are good at playing the numbers game. I will not vote for another democrat if this current bill is passed. I read through it and it is a terrible bill. I do not like the idea of being penalized if I opt out of health insurance. There a 2.5% tax for doing this. I do not like the idea of being taxed a surcharge because I make more money than someone else. What will be next car insurance? It will not be the Republicans killing the bill. It will be the tax payers. There are more layers of bureaucracy than anyone can count in this bill. At least with Blue Cross, I can call one phone number. Secondly, this bill does nothing but create a big insurance program and does not address the root causes of health care costs. Republicans are for health care reform but not for the creation of a big government program paid for by only a few. Leave out the mandates and make everyone pay the same price (like car insurance) and I will gladly support it. Out of those who do not have health insurance, how many have an expensive flat screen tv and monthly cable. There are basic health plans that cost less than $200 a month right now. Those without health insurance need to priortize needs over wants if they do not qualify for Medicade. I have been without it and learned how to take care of myself without costing me fortune.

  2. If they started charging for air, would it matter the cost? We'd pay it because we NEED it! Same with health care reform. If they're worried about the price, find a way to do it cheaper. Don't scrap the idea! We need it now!

    I don't go along with insuring people that are here illegally, however. Why should our tax money pay for people that are not citizens, but law-breakers? If we travel to another country and get sick, should we expect free health care from them?

  3. David, I left a comment on your blog. I'll just say here that if I could find a health plan for $200 a month, I'd be all over it! If you are happy with our current system, you have been very lucky or very healthy. Or both.

    Lily, I could be wrong but I believe some countries do provide free health care to visitors. I know we need to address the illegal immigrant issue, though. My tired brain hasn't thought that one through.

  4. I got your comment. Blue Cross has some really good plans under Blue Advantage. The $203 plan has a $2500 deductible. However, I am on your side for the preexisting conditions. I hear the issues every day and my insurance is much better than the hospital plan. Kind of funny. I just really feel that everyone has to have some skin in the game regardless of income. We also need a bill that addresses the real issues: torte reform and Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Insurance is insurance. It is a pool of money that we all pay into to cover medical expenses for everyone in the pool. Sure there are some paper work and management savings that can be solved. I feel the strongest about the government running things. You will get stuck in many more layers of bureaucracy than a regular insurance company. Plus, the government can legally charge me more because they feel like it. Congress has the ability to do more with regulating the insurance industry and hospitals with a cheaper cost to the tax payers. With this bill, I will not have a choice between my house and health coverage. Refusing to pay for health insurance can lead to jail time for tax evasion. I bet you and I could probably come up with a better solution than the members of Congress. I ask this. Why is it such a rush that we cannot take the time and do true reform that everyone will support.