Media Still Using Wrong Number for Uninsured

     It’s like a broken record – the same push for socialized medicine using misreported data from the same government institution. Only this time, the data used is more current.


     “But there was bad news on this front [the poverty front] as well,” said NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams August 28. “The number of Americans without health insurance has gone up from nearly 45 million in 2005 to 47 million Americans last year.”


     Williams was wrong. According to the U.S. Census Report, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,” a little more than 10 million of those uninsured are not citizens of the United States or roughly 22 percent of the total.


     CBS “Evening News” took it one step further. The network went to Arlington County, Va., to what is “listed in the census report as one of the richest counties in country.” But the report didn’t mention it also has a relatively high percentage of immigrants, nearly 28 percent, that make up the county’s population.


     “It's the highest number of uninsured Americans in 20 years – 47 million without health insurance and dozens of them come in every day to the free clinic in Arlington, Va.,” said CBS correspondent Wyatt Andrews of the Census statistics. “For house cleaner Mariah Carvealio, who makes $8,000 a year, the clinic is her only option. What if this clinic did not exist?”


     What CBS and NBC did not report is that the number of uninsured in household incomes of less than $25,000 annually actually decreased – from 14.5 million in 2005 to a little less than 14 million in 2006. So, more of the poorest in the United States are actually getting health insurance coverage.


     What else did they leave out?


     Those who live in households with income above $50,000 annually (households above the national median income of $48,201) make up almost 18 million of the uninsured. That means 38 percent of the uninsured in this new report could most likely afford coverage, but chose not to have it. That 18 million of the uninsured constitutes most of the 2.1-million person increase in the uninsured from 2005 to 2006.


     The liberal Democratic presidential hopeful frontrunners are already taking advance of the misreported data and incorporating the universal health care message in their campaign rhetoric.



     “It was an outrage then and with 10 million more people uninsured today, it is an even deeper outrage today,” said Sen. Hillary Clinton in a statement. “Yet, the uninsured have been invisible to this president, but if I’m President, they will not be invisible to me. From day one of my campaign, I have committed to ensuring that every American has quality, affordable health insurance coverage.”


     According to the Associated Press, Sen. Barack Obama called the numbers “a betrayal of the ideals we hold as Americans.” Former Sen. John Edwards parroted a similar message. “We simply cannot stand by while tens of millions of our fellow citizens go without the necessities of life,'' Edwards said to Bloomberg News on August 29. “We need truly universal health care and a national effort to eliminate poverty.”


     Left-wing voices in the media have been incorrectly touting U.S. Census Bureau numbers to make the case for universal health care, including Michael Moore in his movie “SiCKO.”