In the last few months, my hospital has seen a dramatic spike in uninsured admissions. In October alone, the percentage of our patients with no insurance jumped by 7%. This is obviously the result of increased unemployment. People without jobs tend to be uninsured.
These patients recieve the same high-quality care as all our patients get, but they do put considerable stress on our financial position. Popular mythology notwithstanding, community hospitals are by no means immune to the ill effects of economic recessions.
Thus, it is with increasing impatience that I listen to talk of “recovery” from the White House, the “news” media and various left-leaning economists. No matter how many whoppers these people tell, there is no such thing as a “jobless recovery.”
The nation now staggers under a 10% unemployment rate that promises to stay in double-digits for at least the next two years. That means we are in a deep recession that is getting worse. How does this unemployment rate compare to the previous eight years?
2001 —————————————– 4.7%
2002 —————————————– 5.8%
2003 —————————————– 6.0%
2004 —————————————– 5.5%
2005 —————————————– 5.1%
2006 —————————————– 4.6%
2007 —————————————– 4.6%
2008 —————————————– 5.8%
Average unemployment during the Bush-Cheney years was 5.26%—-HALF what it is now. Thus, more and more people are frustrated with the excuses we’re getting from Obama’s supporters. One of Sullivan’s readers provides the perfect analogy for this kind of BS:
If our economy is in “recovery,” then what is preventing companies from actually hiring people? I hate saying this, but this is feeling like another “Mission Accomplished” to people.
I’m an unashamed admirer of G.W. Bush, and I think the final draft of history will treat him far better than has the “first draft,” but I also get that the “mission accomplished” thing was a blunder. So, why is it that Obama’s supporters are unable to admit the obvious?
Just before last year’s election, they loudly declared that we were in a recession, though unemployment was below 6% and GDP was growing. Now that we have 10% unemployment, it’s a “lagging indicator.” It would be easier to respect Obama’s supporters if they’d drop the double standard.