Republicans want to reduce the size of the federal government, and they won’t take no for an answer. “I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” Grover Norquist famously declared. And in negotiations over the fiscal cliff, they have insisted on cutting spending rather than raising taxes. “The President wants to pretend that spending isn’t the problem,” House Speaker John Boehner has complained. Democrats, for their part, have responded defensively.
Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Weblog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. The new Census numbers are out and they show a grim increase in the number of uninsured in 2008 to 46.5 million--figures that are bound to be worse now 12 months into our current recession. But this number has been under attack for the past year, as conservative columnists, blogs, and other voices repeat the argument that the Census figures are inflated.