17 Million people just disappeared!

“Then I learned to play some lead guitar, I was underage in this funky bar
And I stepped outside to smoke myself a j
When I come back to the room, everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began to play
It was late in the evening, and I blew that room away” – Paul Simon, “Late in the Evening”

So President Obama was a little late to his speech last night. I figured he was out smoking a cigarette before his big speech. But once he finally did arrive, the room erupted into applause. And then Obama did a really neat trick: He made 17 million people disappear.

For months, pretty much everyone who is in favor of goverment takeover reform of health care has stated that “47 million people are without health insurance. And that’s a tragedy we just can’t ignore any longer!” Then last night, the prez sez: “Over 30 million Americans are without health insurance.”

Now we all know the difference between “people” and “Americans”. One is a subset of the other. But by my math, 47-30=17. So where’d the 17 million “people” w/o health insurance go? The other thing the prez sez is that folks who oppose the idea of goverment takeover reform of health care don’t have any ideas or nothin’. Wait, what?

I have some ideas, but I also have some questions.  OK, I can accept that we need to do something about the health care system, but I don’t think a single HR bill, followed by a single Senate bill, is the answer. I think we need to ask a few questions.
What is the problem we are trying to solve? Don’t say “the health care system”, that’s too vague.
What are we doing about tort reform?
How many people are there, really, without health insurance? Not the ones who can afford it and don’t want it, not the illegal aliens, just the folks who want it, need it, and can’t afford it.
If the government admits that Medicaid is broken, do we really want to trust them with a MUCH bigger problem?

Let’s start to answer these questions, with a conversation, without shouting, and see if we can’t come up with something. Since the media reported in November 2008 that an “overwhelming majority of Americans voted for Obama (52%)”, then it also must be true that an “overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of Obama (52%).”

So for the three people who read this blog (that’d be me, Pete and my big sis), what is your take? What should we do about the health care crisis of the century problem that is so huge if we don’t fix it now with trillions more in spending the world will come to an end?



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