The media spun the report by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday to show that although poverty numbers were lower, the number of Americans without health insurance was increasing. But they didn’t even get that right.
“There's news on the economy tonight,” said NBC News anchor Brian Williams. “The percentage of Americans living in poverty dropped a bit last year to 12.3 percent from 12.6 percent of the population the year before. But there was bad news on this front as well. The number of Americans without health insurance has gone up from nearly 45 million in 2005 to 47 million Americans last year.”
The statistics Williams is referring to come from the U.S. Census Report, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006.” It broke down the 47 million uninsured and reported that a little over 10 million of those uninsured are not a citizen of the United States, something Williams failed to disclose.
CBS “Evening News” took it a step further by sending reporters to a free clinic in Arlington, Va. (where immigrants make up a high percentage of the population) to illustrate the plight of the uninsured. “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. “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 else did CBS and NBC not mention? 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 21 million person increase in the uninsured from 2005 to 2006.
All three top liberal Democratic presidential hopefuls politicized the new numbers to further their campaign for socialized medicine.