Bush Administration Ignores 44 Million Uninsured in U.S as it Awards Contract for Universal Health Care in Iraq
Reps. DeGette, Dingell, Brown Demand President Commit to Health Care
for All Americans and All Iraqis
WASHINGTON, DC - On the day that the Bush Administration awarded a contract to Abt Associates to provide universal health service to 25 million Iraqis within a year, U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), John D. Dingell (D-MI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called on President Bush to provide the same commitment to the 44 million Americans without health care coverage.
The contract by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) seeks to "help facilitate rapid, universal health service delivery to the Iraqi population" including "basic health care available to 12.5 million persons" after six months and "25 million persons" after one year of program implementation. The Administration also requires all 25 million Iraqis to have maternal, child health care, and health information and education after six months of program implementation.
"The problems in Iraq are daunting. There is only one doctor for every 1,667 people compared to 1 for every 400 in the United States. Life expectancy is 60 years for men and 58 for women, compared to 74 and 79 in the United States. The country's infrastructure is in shambles," said Rep. DeGette. "If, despite all of these huge challenges, we can provide universal health care in Iraq within one year, we can certainly find a way to provide coverage to the 400,000 Coloradoans and 44 million Americans without health care coverage."
"I'm pleased the Administration is taking quick action to ensure health care for Iraq's people, but remain disappointed that the same effort is not being put forth to protect America's uninsured," said Rep. Dingell, Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Commerce. "If the President were not wedded to an ill-conceived, over-inflated tax-cut, we could afford to take care of millions of our citizens who have no insurance."
"The problem isn't that George W. Bush is acknowledging the need for health care in Iraq. The problem is he is not acknowledging that 44 million Americans lack the same health services he wants to provide Iraq. Two-thirds of states, including my home state of Ohio, are slashing essential health services. President Bush should demonstrate the same level of commitment to solving this crisis at home as in Iraq," said Rep. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who is the Ranking Member on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over Medicaid and other federal health programs.
"While rebuilding Iraq is an extremely important task, the Bush Administration cannot ignore the crushing problems here at home. American small businesses are being crippled by soaring health care costs. The rising number of unemployed are struggling with huge health insurance payments or going without insurance. States across the nation are drastically slashing health coverage for the working poor," said Rep. DeGette. "Instead of offering a plan to solve these crises, the Bush Administration proposed a 7 percent cut in the Health Resources and Services Administration and a 30 percent cut in children's hospital grants."
"Uninsured Americans are still waiting for the President to show them the same compassion he is now showing to Iraqis," concluded Rep. DeGette. "It's more than time for some leadership from the White House on domestic issues."
Mar 5, '04
uninsured americans can walk into any ER and be treated for their ailment....i am normally very pro-american support...but let's be realistic...these people couldn't seek treatment if they were on death's door....
i swear - it doesn't matter what Bushie does he is wrong...
first we complain that we have destroyed the iraqi's lives and made living there unbearable...so our president attempts to help them w/ BASIC healthcare and we still complain.
i am well aware that there are those in America who desperately need healthcare and i am all for that...however...i again reiterate...in America you can call 911 or walk into any ED and get treated...no matter if there is insurance or not...heck you can even give a fake name and social and never get a bill.
Mar 5, '04
Did you see how much is actually being spent per person? I heard 40$ as compared to the $4000 or so we spend per American. Also, much of the nearly one billion dollars going into health in Iraq will come from its oil money. I will not criticize Bush for actually trying to do something good in Iraq. I mean, c'mon, we went in, killed a lot of people, destabilized their already messed up country, we should be helping to rebuild.
Mar 7, '04
I have re-read the article twice now and don't see any criticism of bush providing universal health insurance in Iraq...I only see praise for his doing that. It is only critical of his inaction on health insurance issues in the USA.
Mar 7, '04
HIS inaction of healthcare issues....
what about us...what about everyone of us who stand around and pay movie stars...ball players...etc ... millions of dollars every MONTH for our entertainment alone. we are each guilty of allowing thousands to go w/o care because we don't take a stance on the excesses that are allowed in this country. This is not the fault of a leader, but moreover the us. WE allow this to go on...WE don't push the issue....and until WE stop and take a look and put a stop to the inordinate amount of money spent on entertainment...then it is OUR fault
i mean, really....if they capped the amount of money entertainers (actors, sports players, musicians) to even 5mill/yr...think of how many millions/billions that could be filtered back into society. (who could even spend 5 mill in a year...really)...
Last edit by athomas91 on Mar 7, '04