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John Cornyn spoke recently about how he worries that the President's "preoccupation" with health care reform is compromising attention towards anti-terrorism. What's more, he says that "keeping America safe from harm" is the President's primary duty, implying that healthcare reform is some sort of special interest group niche concern. There are many things wrong with Cornyn is saying, let's dissect.
1. The Christmas day attempted bombing was more a problem with intelligence than anything else. Umar Mutallab's own father had warned the US that his son may have radical intentions. He paid for his ticket to Detroit in CASH. He was denied re-entry to Britain on the grounds that he LIED on his application form. These are more than enough signs to point to a guy whom the US should be suspicious about and should never have been granted a visa to the US.
2. Healthcare is MUCH more dangerous than terrorism Ok, so let's tally the number of people who died from September 11th: almost 3000. Now, how many Americans die every year from being uninsured/not having proper health care coverage: about 45,000. Yes, that's every year, and yes that's 15 times the number who died during 9/11. I'm not saying that 9/11 wasn't tragic or that we should not do something to combat terrorism. However, let's not pretend that this is the greatest threat to the US. Our ailing healthcare system is a much larger threat to both our well being and our fiscal sustainability. So when Senator Cornyn says that the President's main responsibility is to keep Americans safe, by focusing on health care reform President Obama is doing just that.