Scary Numbers Hurt Health Care Debate

Posted on September 30, 2009

In her letter to the editor, Ms. Eastlick brings up the excellent point regarding the “voluntarily uninsured” being almost half of the total number without insurance. However, that is only part of the story. Similar studies as the one she points out have broken down the numbers even further.

A significant percentage of the remaining uninsured are illegal aliens who President Obama promises will not be covered. Obviously, Joe Wilson disagrees, but that’s neither here nor there. Another significant percentage of uninsured are made up of those who could be covered by other programs like Medicaid but haven’t signed up. That leaves approximately 11 million people who fall through those cracks.

In a nation of 290 million, 11 million isn’t nearly as scary as 46 million, now is it? While I agree that our health care system needs serious reform, there are easier and cheaper ways to achieve these goals. Increasing competition by removing barriers to buying insurance across state lines would be a huge step. Even President Obama seems to think that increased competition is good, so why not try it without creating a huge governmental body to “compete” with private enterprise?

We have serious problems that require serious solutions. Scary numbers and scary rhetoric don’t help. Giving part of the story doesn’t help either. Instead, it’s time to roll up our sleeves. That is, if the Republicans and Democrats can get past their own issues and realize that they’re supposed to do what’s right for the nation, not their party.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tom Knighton is vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Georgia.