JOBS UP, HEALTH INSURANCE DOWN….The number of people suffering from a chronic lack of health insurance jumped more than 10% in 2003:

An additional 2.6 million people ages 18 to 64 were uninsured for more than a year, raising the total to 24.5 million, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

….The increase in the number of long-term uninsured, which Robin A. Cohen of the statistics center called “quite a significant jump,” underscored the chronic nature of the problem and the decreasing likelihood that a job guaranteed access to health insurance, analysts said.

And this was in 2003, a year in which the economy grew 4% and we were supposedly recovering nicely from the 2001 recession. Another few years of a “recovery” like this and we’ll be a third world nation.

But hey, I’m sure I’m just overreacting. The Heritage Foundation and Cato should be along soon with some rapid response cards for Republican congressmen and assorted talking heads to explain why (a) this isn’t Bush’s fault, (b) even if it were, the numbers are wrong, (c) even if the numbers are right it’s actually a good thing, and (d) the statisticians at the CDC are just a bunch of agenda-driven lefties who hate President Bush anyway.

I can’t wait.

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