Thursday, October 26, 2006
Yeah, George, PLEASE Talk About The Economy!
A new analysis of census data reveals that despite signs of what some call a rebounding economy, the number of people lacking health insurance continues to expand. According to a report released last week by the public-health research institute Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2005 another 1.3 million Americans joined the ranks of the uninsured, bringing the total uninsured non-elderly population to just over 46 million. Not counting seniors eligible for Medicare, the uninsured rate reached about 18 percent.Any why are there so many more uninsured nowadays? Because companies are slashing benefits as well as wages (and unions):
Between 2000 and 2005, more workers moved into small firms or self-employment, where health coverage is generally less prevalent. In that same period, industries that have traditionally offered solid health benefits - such as manufacturing, government administration and mining - lost about two million workers. Meanwhile, 5.6 million workers entered industries that traditionally have low employer-insurance rates, including retail, communications and construction.Welcome to Republican America. Would you like fries with that?
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