"..nearly half of all Americans under 65 years old will lose their health care coverage...for some period...in the next 10 years"
To say this statement is disingenuous would be an understatement. While there's some truth to every Obama comment, there is always an equal and intentional distortion of the real facts. It's the lawyer in him!
Probably, in the last 10 years, too, nearly half of all Americans did lose their health insurance for some period of time. That's because we have an employer-based health insurance system in this country and about half of all Americans will switch jobs during that 10-year period. More often than not, the vast majority of those people only lose their health care insurance coverage over a weekend as they leave their old job on a Friday to start a new one on Monday.
Others probably did lose their insurance because their insurance company dropped them; for reasons including the non-payment of premiums and, sadly, because of extreme or pre-existing health conditions.
But, the disingenuous part of the President's statement is that it would "lead" you to believe that those 1/2 of Americans would continue on in life without any insurance. Of course, in typical Obama and lawyerly fashion, he didn't actually say that but, instead, he wanted you to formulate that opinion in your mind. Something he does constantly and why so many hear what they want to hear out of his speeches.
If the abstract of this statement were actually true, more than one half of all America would have absolutely no health insurance as of today and that number would just keep growing until none of us had insurance. But, that's not what is happening; and, quite frankly, that is absurd. Even those "evil" insurance companies wouldn't want a situation where their customer base and their business kept shrinking. That's not how capitalism works.
In reality, the only reason the percentage of uninsured has risen in America is because of all the illegal aliens that are now being tallied up in the number. Otherwise, the percentage of uninsured Americans has been fairly static for years. In fact, and hardly reported, the number of Americans who were without health insurance actually fell in 2007; just before the recession hit (Click to See Full Story: "Number of Uninsured Americans Drops"). As that article states, that was primarily due to the increased coverage of "children" resulting from programs like the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But note, too, from this article that this was the first drop in seven years. And, what happened in the last seven years? The answer has been a high influx of illegals.
The continued recession and high unemployment rate is the reason why the number of uninsured has probably risen, again, in the last 18 months. For sure, that problem now lies squarely on Obama's shoulders as a result of his failed stimulus package. With a "jobless recovery" looking to be more evident by the day, the number of uninsured could easily rise above 50 million in the next couple of years.
Contrary to what many might think, workers who lose their jobs due to layoffs and firings don't actually lose their insurance because of a Federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985; or, simply known as COBRA. Under COBRA, any workers who previously had company insurance and who get laid off or fired are able retain their prior employer's insurance rights for up to 18 months. But, Obama seems to overlook that particular fact when he's quickly throwing all his numbers around.
I really don't know what this President is up to with his latest comment. Most advocates for a single-payer, nationalized health care system will use this exact argument as the primary basis for a government-run health care system. However, in Wednesday's speech to Congress, he "implied" that single-payer was not his goal in what he is now calling "my health care plan". Now, as of Saturday, he again seems to be arguing the opposite.
Obama talks about "stopping all the games" as if to imply that it his opponents that are doing all the gaming. Yet, he continues the "game" by making contradictory statements and nonsensical arguments such as our doctors actually yank tonsils out because they'll make more money; and, that 1/2 of Americans will lose their insurance in the next 10 years. The game he is playing is to try and use absurd arguments to support his program in the audacious hope that you or I will actually believe him.
If Obama is worried about people losing their insurance, there is a simple solution that doesn't take 1000 pages of legislation and over 500 pages of addenda. Simply pass a law that makes it illegal for any insurance company to refuse, drop, or raise rates on someone because of a pre-existing health condition. You can also make it a law that insurance coverage is carried over for a period of 3 weeks past the time that anyone voluntarily leaves a company to go to another job. You don't need a complete and destructive juggernaut solution to solve an extremely simple problem. That's where Obama just doesn't get it.
If you would like to read another article that proves that Obama is stretching the truth, I would suggest this excellent opinion piece that appeared in this morning's Wall Street Journal: "Fact-Checking the President on Health Insurance".