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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 22, 2010

MEDIA GROSSLY EXAGGERATING BILL'S IMPORTANCE

 Sam Smith

IT'S PROBABLY to be expected of people who spend all day quoting disingenuous public officials, but the media is grossly exaggerating the importance of the health care bill. The comparisons to Medicare and Medicaid are not only wrong, they're insulting.

There are presently about 137 million people on Medicare and Medicaid. Although the Democrats claim to be providing health care to 32 million, half that number are being order to provide themselves with health care, which the government will partially subsidize. Those to be added to Medicaid represent only 12% of those currently enrolled in these programs and even if you add those ordered to buy insurance the number is only a quarter of those benefiting from earlier programs.

Further, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post has pointed out that, "the bill wouldn't really kick in until 2014. To get a more accurate annual figure, look at a year in which the bill is fully operational. In, say, 2016, the bill's spending will be about $160 billion. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, total health-care spending that year will be about $3.7 trillion. In other words, the bill's spending is equivalent to about 4 percent of what we'll spend in health care in a year."


1 Comments:

Blogger Litowitz said...

Sam, I don't know if you saw it, but The New York Times ran an editorial yesterday which gushed about how the Obama plan will "provide" health insurance to tens of millions who are currently uninsured. And how will it provide them with insurance? By making them buy it privately.

Let me get this straight: the plan is to "provide" insurance by making people buy it?

Wow, thanks for giving me what I already have -- the right to buy insurance.

I don't get why this is being celebrated. It is a few pieces of consumer reform slapped atop a big giveaway to insurance companies and drug companies.

March 23, 2010 8:08 AM  

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