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June 26, 2007

The number of American adults without health insurance has jumped by 2 million, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 44 million Americans — equal to the combined population of 24 states — are listed as uninsured in 2006, a 6 percent jump from the previous year.

There are few things that Gov. Edward G. Rendell and I agree on. The fact that they have too many residents without health insurance coverage is one of them. Between 750,000 and 900,000 adults are uninsured. They are part of the growing tide of working men and women who do not have health coverage.

Rendell's answer for the uninsured is predictable: Raise somebody's taxes and get the government more involved in running health insurance programs.

"More taxes, more government involvement" is the liberal mantra for whatever ails us when it comes to folks like Ed Rendell and Hillary Clinton. The key ingredient in Rendell's "Prescription for Pennsylvania" is to impose a tax on employers who don't provide health coverage for workers.

The problem with raising taxes on employers is that it will force some of them out of business because they can't afford to insure workers. That will put more workers in the ranks of the uninsured. Tax-and-spend liberals like Rendell never think through their knee-jerk "solutions" to problems.

Inexplicably, Rendell waited until his fifth year in office before addressing the problem of uninsured workers. Didn't these people need health coverage in the first four years of Rendell's tenure?

Rendell has been unwilling so far to address other factors that contribute to the uninsured such as malpractice rates, insurance fraud, bureaucratic waste and tort reform. Rendell's Insurance Department might as well be a PR/Marketing wing for the big insurance lobby. (Didn't Rendell's insurance secretary just take a job with the insurance industry?). Instead of looking out for consumers, Rendell's Insurance Department has been a little too cozy with big insurance and has looked the other way while insurance companies have raised their rates astronomically.

And nobody has been able to provide a satisfactory explanation of how non-profit insurance carriers in the state are sitting on billions of dollars in profits. Sounds to me that the Blues are charging way too much for premiums and not paying out enough in claims.

And unlike Dr. Rendell's prescription for solving the health insurance problem (getting government more involved in medicine), the Wonderling and Schroder bills would not cost taxpayers a thing.

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Posted by healthinsurance at June 26, 2007 06:10 PM