Healthcare and this year’s election

Published 5:15 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

Wednesday, I traveled to Montgomery to see an orthopedic surgeon about a knee problem which had been plaguing me for some time.

I had surgery about nine years ago on it to repair a torn ligament the joint is starting to feel as if bone is meeting bone when I walk.

The Doc said what I was feeling was right, prescribed 30 minutes on a stationary bike and anti-inflammatory medication and sent me on my way. I’m to go back in six weeks for a check-up.

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I handed the lady behind the desk my health insurance card, paid my co-payment, and left.

But for many people, it’s not that simple.

The Lewin Group – an independent healthcare analysis consultant – recently projected that by 2010 over 48 million people in the United States will be without health insurance.

The United States Census Bureau has also released data giving a breakdown county-by-county of the haves and have-nots of health insurance. Although the numbers are from 2005, it gives you an idea of where Butler County stands as far as health coverage goes.

The data shows that 14.5 percent of the population of Butler County did not have health insurance in 2005, with a margin of error of 2.7 percent.

Those numbers likely have risen in three years because low-income estimate data (also compiled by the Census Bureau) show a disturbing trend in the percentage of the population handcuffed by poverty.

Numbers indicated there were 23.1 percent of the county population and at least 33.1 percent of children under the age 18 living in poverty in 2005 county-wide.

At the forefront of the upcoming Presidential Election is health coverage and its availability for United States citizens.

The Lewin Group also conducted a study of each healthcare plan offered by Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain and offers a comparison of both candidates’ ideas for healthcare reform.

The study can be downloaded at

It is interesting to note that both of the plans would cost trillions of dollars to implement, but neither candidate has come up with a substantial plan to fund them.