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Thirty million is a lot of people. It is about four times the population of New York City. It is 10 percent of the population of the entire United States. It is also the amount by which everyone from the Obama administration to the mainstream media is exaggerating the number of Americans who may currently be unable to obtain health insurance.
From a new study by FreedomWorks:
The difference between 16 million and 46 million: the millions of people who qualify for but do not take government insurance benefits already offered, the population making more than $50,000 a year who are uninsured, and uninsured non-citizens.
Clearly, far more Americans already have the option to access health care (without a costly new entitlement) than Congress or the Obama administration would have us believe.
The enormous disparity between the numbers seems to reflect more than just fuzzy math. After all, if it is your intention to make sure everyone has quality health care, why not first make sure everyone is accessing the care for which they already qualify? Why tout a big scary number that includes illegal immigrants and those who can afford their own care but choose not to?
Maybe because these days, if enough people repeat them over and over, big scary numbers win elections. But now that the election is over, even those in favor of a federal health care takeover should want to see the debate about its form take place in numerical reality.
Surely there are better ways (read: free market reforms) for an additional five percent of the population to obtain affordable coverage than by giving control over the entire health care system to the same fiscal wizards who brought us the gigantic Ponzi schemes known as Medicare and Social Security.