President Obama reached into his arsenal for another weapon in his bid to revamp the nation's health care system Saturday, when he laid out dire prospects if the current system is left untouched.
Citing a newly-released report by the Treasury Department, President Obama told the nation in his weekly address, "[W]e can expect that about half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next ten years. If you're under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you'll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year."
The data is based on a study of 17,123 people from 1997-2006, which says that 48% of those studied were uninsured at some point over the ten-year study. Forty-one percent went without coverage for at least six months, though Treasury Department officials admit those months were not necessarily consecutive.
Extrapolating that data, compiled at a time when officials say insurance was cheaper than it is today, the administration paints a cloudy future for the uninsured.
"The status quo is a plan to allow about half of Americans to go without insurance...every decade," one Treasury Official told reporters in a late Friday conference call.
After a long, hot summer of debate and rancor, the President has pulled out all of the stops in trying to bring the public and Congress on board his Health Care train; most notably using a Joint Session of Congress to do so.
Mr. Obama tried to bring home the point Saturday, "In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they'll go without health insurance - not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health reform plan into law - they won't."