The Prevaricative President. Part Two.

Last night I established the fact that our President is being less than truthful with the American people.

He distracted American citizens from his administrations $3 trillion deficit THIS YEAR, but invoking the previous administrations $1 trillion deficit for 2008. Far be it from President Obama to actually be honest and open about anything.

When he invoked the name of Theodore Roosevelt into the conversation he once again was attempting to distract you from the truth. Theodore Roosevelt did not call for health care reform, he did not push to revamp the entire health care industry in the United States. His party, the Progressive Party of 1912, simply called for “required health insurance in industry”. By 1912, he was no longer President, in fact he served from 1901-1909 so he hadn’t been President for three years by the time he and his party called for the health insurance requirement. I should also remind you that Woodrow Wilson won that election and the Bull Moose Party and it’s platform slowly faded away into obscurity.

In his speech to the Joint Session of Congress, President Obama said,

Our collective failure to meet this challenge — year after year, decade after decade — has led us to the breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Some can’t get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed, and can’t afford it, since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or too expensive to cover.

We are the only democracy — the only advanced democracy on Earth — the only wealthy nation — that allows such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two-year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone.

Let’s see how truthful he was when he said “We are the only democracy — the only advanced democracy on Earth — the only wealthy nation — that allows such hardship for millions of its people.

Does he really expect us to believe that we are “the only democracy” that allows such hardship for millions of its people? Seriously? While you think about that statement, remember there are are more than 70 ‘democratic’ countries around the world. Something tells me that no matter how bad you think our system is, the health care here in the United States is far better than it is in Canada, Croatia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, India, North Korea, Lesotha, Nicaragua, and the United Kingdom, which are all democratic countries.

There is no doubt that our current health care system needs a good tweak, but you can hardly compare the “hardship” of health insurance in America with the overall quality of health care in any of those other ‘democratic’ countries. And yes, before you blow a gasket, North Korea is known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and is technically a ‘democratic’ country in the world.

Let’s look an example, shall we? How does “hardship” in the United States compare to “hardship” in India?

Although India has eradicated mass famines, half of children in India are underweight, one of the highest rates in the world and nearly double the rate of Sub-Saharan Africa. Water supply and sanitation in India continue to be abysmal; only one of three Indians has access to improved sanitation facilities such as toilet. India’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is a growing threat. Cholera epidemics are not unknown. The maternal mortality in India is the second highest in the world.

Providing healthcare and disease prevention to India’s growing population of more than a billion people becomes challenging in the face of depleting resources. 2.47 million people in India are estimated to be HIV positive. India is one of the four countries worldwide where polio has not as yet been successfully eradicated and one third of the world’s tuberculosis cases are in India.

I don’t know about you, but India doesn’t sound like a shining example of a democracy that doesn’t “allow such hardship for millions of its people”. The President said we were the “only” one. Do we even need to review the others? Whether it’s 12-18 week waiting periods for everything from basic appointments to major surgery, the lack of potable water, or the prevalence of disease in their country, I think it’s safe to say the President lied when he compared us to other democratic countries around the world. What about those wealthy nations he mentioned?

Based on GDP, China is the third richest country, India is 12th, and Saudi Arabia is twenty-third.

So how does the third wealthiest nation fare in comparison to health care in the United States?

Western style medical facilities with international staff are available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a few other large cities. Many other hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called V.I.P. wards or gaogan bingfang. These feature reasonably up-to-date medical technology and physicians who are both knowledgeable and skilled. Most V.I.P. wards also provide medical services to foreigners and have English-speaking doctors and nurses. Physicians and hospitals have sometimes refused to supply American patients with complete copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays.

Despite the introduction of western style medical facilities, the PRC has several emerging public health problems, which include problems as a result of pollution, a progressing HIV-AIDS epidemic, millions of cigarette smokers, and the increase in obesity among the population. The HIV epidemic, in addition to the usual routes of infection, was exacerbated in the past by unsanitary practices used in the collection of blood in rural areas. The problem with tobacco is complicated by the concentration of most cigarette sales in a government controlled monopoly. The government, dependent on tobacco revenue, seems hesitant in its response and may even encourage it as seen from government websites. Hepatitis B is endemic in mainland China, with about 10% of the population contracting the disease. Some hepatitis researchers link hepatitis infections to a lower ratio of female births. If this link is confirmed, this would partially explain China’s gender imbalance. A program initiated in 2002 will attempt over the next 5 years to vaccinate all newborns in mainland China.

As of 2004, in more undeveloped areas it is advised to only drink bottled water as cholera, among other diseases, is spread through the water supply.

Maybe the next time President Obama talks about the health care insurance “hardship” in America he should leave out the comparison to other countries. Like I said before, our system definitely needs a good tweak, but cholera, high maternal mortality rates, non-potable water, and tuberculosis are not normal “hardships” you find in our health care system.

Now, let’s talk about those 30 million people who “cannot get coverage”.

In July, President Obama talked about “the 47 million Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all…” In August, President Obama said we had “47 million people without health insurance” in our country. Now, in September that number is 30 million. What kind of calculator is he using? That must be the magic calculator that also tells him the current health care plan will not add to the federal deficit.

So why the sudden drop in the total number? Were 17 million people suddenly able to obtain health insurance last month or is there something the President wasn’t telling us… again?

Let’s look at the actual breakdown of people who “cannot get coverage”, and just for arguments sake, we’ll use the 47 million number in this breakdown. According to Keith Hennessey,

  • 6.4 million are covered by Medicaid or S-CHIP but mistakenly tell the Census taker they are unemployed.
  • 4.3 million are eligible for Medicaid or S-CHIP but have not signed up.

Just these two segments of society amount to 10.7 million people who shouldn’t be considered in the 47 million number touted by President Obama. The number, at this point, is closer to 36.3 million.

Of the remaining number, Hennessey claims 9.3 million are non-citizens. He does not break that down into legal and illegal immigrants, but most experts agree there are at least 12 million (if not 15-20 million) illegal aliens inside our borders. For the sake of argument I am going to use this number. Once we remove the 12 million illegal immigrants who cannot get coverage our number of uninsured Americans sits at a solid 24.3 million.

Hennessey continues his breakdown.

  • 10.1 million make more than three times the poverty level, therefore they could obtain health insurance coverage if they wanted it

These people should not be included in the number of people who “cannot get coverage” because it’s clear, they can if they want to. Our number now sits at 14.2 million uninsured or 4.6%. If we use Hennessey’s numbers that number would be 10.6 million or 3.5%. Remember now, we used the 47 million number, not the 30 million number touted by the President in his speech to the Joint Session of Congress. If we use his number, our numbers go negative and we know that’s not a true representation of those who are uninsured in America.

The next time you hear President Obama or anyone else touting the “millions of uninsured” while discussing the current health care plan, remember they are talking about less than 5% of the population.

The next time a politician tries to convince you that government control (of anything) is the only answer, don’t take their word for it. Check the facts. Read the bill, and compare the numbers. The United States is a republic, and it’s up to you keep tabs on your representatives in our government.

A republic is a form of government in which the head of state is not a monarch and the people (or at least a part of its people) have an impact on its government. The word ‘republic’ is derived from the Latin phrase res publica which can be translated as “public affairs”.

Being the citizen of a republic, you have the responsibility to question your government and hold them accountable for their actions.

Tonight I want you think about something.

Do we really need to overhaul our entire health care system and destroy the current level of health care we currently enjoy simply to “get coverage” for less than 5% of our population? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to tweak our current system and change the Medicaid guidelines to permit that 5% to enroll?

Why are President Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress trying to rush this through the process? We’ve already read the bill and we know what it will do to our country, and now we know how many people will benefit from any type of reform. What exactly are they trying to force upon us?

More in my next post…

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