News broadcasters report on the availability of “health care,” used as a synonym for health insurance. They repeat “47 million” or “nearly 50 million” Americans are without health care (insurance). None of them have bothered to find out how this figure came about. However, over and over again, they state this figure, which is used to justify an expensive socialist program.

The Heartland Institute, and more recently, columnist George Will, have explained the figure. Marcel Morin, in his letter July 21, made note of this explanation.

Of the 47 million people, about 9-11 million are not citizens, largely concentrated in southern border states. Many are criminals or illegal aliens and don’t want to be identified.

Up to 14 million people are eligible for existing medical care programs (VA, Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, etc.), but have not enrolled. This is irresponsibility.

Another 9-10 million people have incomes of at least $75,000 and could purchase health insurance. This is a choice they made. Some are simply between jobs. The current recession unemployment may skew this figure.

The remainder are those who cannot afford insurance. They are used as pawns by the liberal Democrats who want the government to provide for (control) all of us. The government can easily afford to care for these truly needy without bringing the rest of us under government control.

If a lie is repeated often enough, people start to believe it is the truth. The media should be held accountable for promoting this deceptive information.

Thomas F. Shields MD, Auburn

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