At a time when the nation seems to be reliving the Scopes monkey trial, I can say definitively that the theory of evolution is bogus.
I'm not basing this conclusion on scripture, but rather news reports from the nation's capital. This information demonstrates that man has not evolved from lower organisms. Clearly, no species that supposedly exceeds apes and the rest of the animal kingdom in consciousness and conscience would permit the ranks of the medically uninsured to swell and poor people to go without care.
Last week, we learned from the Census Bureau that the number of uninsured Americans grew to 45.8 million in 2004, an increase of nearly 860,000 from 2003. Employment-based health insurance continued to slide, falling to 59.8% from 60.4% of the nation. Median household income was flat. The number of people living in poverty edged up to 37 million, an increase of 1.1 million from 2003. That made for a poverty rate of 12.7%, the fourth consecutive annual increase.
If you are desperately seeking some positive news, you could take some solace in the fact that the portion of the population without health insurance remained stable at 15.7%. But a lack of de-evolution is not evidence of progress. From 2000 to 2004, the number of uninsured rose by 6 million. To make things even dimmer, the uninsured rate stayed unchanged in 2004 because more people obtained coverage under Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
The subject of Medicaid brings us to the primordial slime of Washington. There, creatures lacking both spines and hearts-known as politicians-went about the business of making the environment even less hospitable to the needy. A national commission handpicked by the Bush administration to find ways to slash Medicaid spending by $10 billion over five years presented its short-term proposals to Congress. The finance folks on Capitol Hill were mulling how to get the $10 billion in savings and trim anticipated Medicaid growth as cash-strapped states are tossing people off Medicaid rolls.
The restlessness in the political swamp can be traced to Congress' budget resolution and to the politicians' unquenchable thirst for tax cuts. The fiscal blueprint passed last spring requires lawmakers to find some $35 billion in entitlement-program savings over five years. The resolution also calls for legislative approval of $70 billion in tax cuts over the same period.
Makes sense. A tax cut is the answer to everything now. I'm waiting for some politician to propose a national tax cut in response to the hurricane devastation in the Gulf states. By the prevailing logic, cutting the tax liability of millionaires in New York and California next year will provide food, shelter and medical care for flood victims in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
So here's the picture: More people are losing employment-based health insurance; the poverty rate is going up; the uninsured portion of the population is stable because more people are on Medicaid but the states are kicking people off Medicaid because they don't have the money; and Congress is approving tax cuts. The majority of benefits of previous cuts endorsed by Congress have gone to households with incomes of more than $1 million, not to people needing Medicaid. How healthcare providers are supposed to treat greater numbers of Medicaid patients with fewer dollars is a problem that the pre-humans of Washington don't really want to face.
This is what they call a healthcare system in the U.S. Maybe it is, but don't call it evolution.
And certainly don't call it intelligent design.
What do you think? Write us with your comments. Via e-mail, it's [email protected]; by fax, dial 312-280-3183.