Uninsured Tops Fifty Million

The Census Bureau has released new data. Not surprisingly, as the number of people living in poverty, who are unemployed, or who are under-employed has increased in recent years, the number of people without health insurance  is at a new high at 50.7 million. This is certainly a number to keep in mind when Republicans try to repeal health care reform measures which will greatly reduce this number. Some additional numbers:

  • The number of people with health insurance decreased from 255.1 million in 2008 to 253.6 million in 2009. Since 1987, the first year that comparable health insurance data were collected, this is the first year that the number of people with health insurance has decreased.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, the number of people covered by private health insurance decreased from 201.0 million to 194.5 million, while the number covered by government health insurance climbed from 87.4 million to 93.2 million. The number covered by employment-based health insurance declined from 176.3 million to 169.7 million. The number with Medicaid coverage increased from 42.6 million to 47.8 million.
  • Comparable health insurance data were first collected in 1987. The percentage of people covered by private insurance (63.9 percent) is the lowest since that year, as is the percentage of people covered by employment-based insurance (55.8 percent). In contrast, the percentage of people covered by government health insurance programs (30.6 percent) is the highest since 1987, as is the percentage covered by Medicaid (15.7 percent).
  • In 2009, 10.0 percent (7.5 million) of children under 18 were without health insurance. Neither estimate is significantly different from the corresponding 2008 estimate.
  • The uninsured rate for children in poverty (15.1 percent) was greater than the rate for all children.
  • In 2009, the uninsured rates decreased as household income increased: from 26.6 percent for those in households with annual incomes less than $25,000 to 9.1 percent in households with incomes of $75,000 or more.

Right Wing News Picks The Top Conservative Blogs

While I was growing up long before the days of blogs, talk radio, and Fox I regularly read National Review and Human Events. Initially (for a very brief time) I found them to be of interest because they spoke of advocating freedom, and they reported on things which I didn’t read about in the more mainstream newspapers and magazines I read. It didn’t take long, even as a teenager when I began reading these publications, to realize that they spoke of freedom in an Orwellian sense, and the material they reported on was generally either trivial or  probably fictitious. In other words, not all that much has changed in the conservative media.

Despite this revelation, I continued to read the two publications, among many others, for several years as a means to keep up with what those I disagreed with were thinking. Plus back in those days it was far more common than today for conservatives to sometimes have something of value to say. In more recent years I have dropped many of my subscriptions, including to the two conservative magazines, as a variety of views are now easily available on the internet at no charge. This includes both on line versions of magazines and blogs.

It definitely makes sense to read conservative views first hand, even if for no other reason than to know the “enemy.” I could suggest some conservative bloggers, but for some reason those I find to make the most sense have found their popularity in the conservative movement diminish. Conservatives tend to frown up conservative bloggers who write that conservative economic ideas wound up screwing up the economy, and they especially don’t like those who write about how the conservative movement has been taken over by people who are bat-shit crazy.

As my choices for conservatives who are worth reading will not give a good insight into the current conservative movement, I’ll defer these recommendations to a conservative blog. Right Wing News has compiled a list of the 40 Best Conservative Blogs. There’s even some I haven’t read which I’ll have to check out, although I fear I might become disappointed if I go in expecting some sanity. As a quick test, it would be interesting to see how many of these off the wall beliefs, now far too common in the conservative movement, are expressed in them: Support for creationism, opposition to the scientific consensus on climate change, belief that Barack Obama is a Muslim, belief that Obama is not a natural born American citizen, belief that Saddam was involved in 9/11, belief that there was WMD in Iraq which threatened us at the onset of the war, belief that tax cuts always lead to increased revenue, belief that health care reform was a “government takeover of health care,” belief that Sarah Palin is qualified to hold national office, or belief that anything Glenn Beck says can be taken seriously.