|Health Insurance Coverage Rates have Plummeted Since 2000|
According to data released by FRED, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis data site, health insurance coverage rates are down dramatically from a decade ago. In the year 2000 it was at it's peak of nearly 87% of the population, today it stands near 83%. This means approximately 54 million Americans lack health insurance coverage. However this should change dramatically in the coming 2 years when the Affordable Health Care Act goes into effect.
Mitt Romney and the Regressive Republicans have repeatedly made the claim that the free market will take of the problem so we don't need what they have derisively labeled "Obama Care". If indeed they where correct, the graph would have a different trajectory. The chart from FRED clearly shows the rate has been dropping since 2000, long before President Obama was even an Illinois Senator.
Mitt Romney states on his website:
Competition drives improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, offering consumers higher quality goods and services at lower cost. It can have the same effect in the health care system, if given the chance to work.
This completely ignores the fact that most people get health insurance through their employer, they don't shop around. The only people that shop around are self employed and the unemployed, if they can afford it. Most can't or end up taking some cut rate worthless policy that only covers emergency visits to the hospital and little else.
What Mitt Romney and the Regressive Republicans really mean by this is allowing insurance companies to be able to sell health insurance across state lines. This is the approach used when banking was deregulated. The result is the credit card companies are all now legally located in South Dakota, the state that allows the highest interest rates and has the worst consumer protections. If Romney's plan is enacted the health insurance companies will do the same. They will go to the state with the worst coverage rules for consumers and the best rules for them from a profit stand point.
Next Mitt Romney states this:
On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible.
Never mind the fact that this is likely beyond the scope of the law, Romney's plan consists of going back to what we already had, minus any of the provisions in Obama Care that have already gone into effect. Provisions like keeping your kids on your insurance up to 25 years in age and the prohibition on denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Clearly the chart demonstrates why this is a bad idea. 54+ million uninsured Americans is a price Mitt Romney is willing to pay in order so big business can continue it's current all time record after tax profits.