Uninsured Increase: Some Actual Facts

As I pointed out here, there is much less than meets the eye in the recent Census Bureau report concerning the uninsured. That did not, of course, prevent single-payer advocates from advertising it as proof that the “crisis� of the uninsured had reached critical mass.

Fortunately, some analysts have actually examined the data. Jeff Goldsmith, at the Health Affairs blog, shows that the “plight of the uninsured� is nowhere near as dire as the advocates of government-run health care would have us believe. Regarding the reported increase, he reveals the following:

Almost the entire increase in people without health insurance from 2005 to 2006 took place in families with incomes above $50,000.

And most of these families are way over that modest benchmark:

Two-thirds of the 2005-2006 increase was actually in families with incomes above $75,000!

Well, you ask, what about the working poor?

The number of uninsured people in families whose incomes were below $25,000 actually declined by about 4%.

So, what we have here is a “crisis� of choice. Most of the fabled uninsured fall into two categories: people who can afford coverage but choose not to buy it and people who are eligible for government aid but choose not to apply for it.

This is not a problem that warrants a government takeover of health care.

Comments 7

  1. James Gaulte wrote:

    To the extent that the uninsured are uninsured because they don’t want to be,Ms. Clinton’s solution of making them get insurance by giving them choice makes some sort of ironic, frightening sense.

    Posted 21 Sep 2007 at 6:49 am
  2. Cary wrote:

    It is good to see someone looking into the facts. Hilllary and many others advocating a universal healthcare system want us to believe the number of uninsured is 47 million. However of those 47 million that are supposed to be uninsured, 10.2 million of them are non-citizens. Of the remaining 36.8 million uninsured, more than half were estimated to not be out of coverage for a full year in between jobs.

    Posted 21 Sep 2007 at 12:06 pm
  3. Lauren wrote:

    So, what we have here is a “crisis� of choice. Most of the fabled uninsured fall into two categories: people who can afford coverage but choose not to buy it and people who are eligible for government aid but choose not to apply for it.

    Except for the people with pre-existing conditions who can’t buy insurance at any price.

    Posted 21 Sep 2007 at 1:55 pm
  4. Marc Brown wrote:

    have a read of this – it’s just been broadcast on British radio:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7006933.stm

    ‘Never one to accept bad news at first blush, she tried to find an alternative. What she discovered was a procedure in which worn hips are resurfaced – rather than cut away – with high-carbide cobalt chrome.

    Sheila settled on this option as the best choice to stay active. But to her surprise, she also found that her American insurance carrier would not cover it. All along, she assumed she had gold-plated coverage. So sorry, the company bureaucrats told her in a formal letter of rejection. The procedure she wanted was considered experimental. Good luck.

    Sheila decided to outsource her health care and she looked overseas. ‘

    Posted 21 Sep 2007 at 3:32 pm
  5. Catron wrote:

    Ms. Clinton’s solution of making them get insurance by giving them choice makes some sort of ironic, frightening sense.

    Why not just let them be uninsured? It’s a chance that many people take to save money, and most get away with it. Some get nailed with high medical bills, but they voluntarily took the risk.

    The problem is not “the uninsured.” The problem is that people like Clinton can’t stand for us to have the choice. Thus, she and her media accompices have created this fictional “crisis.”

    Posted 21 Sep 2007 at 7:11 pm
  6. Catron wrote:

    Except for the people with pre-existing conditions who can’t buy insurance at any price.

    Actually, if someone has a pre-existing condition, they can get insurance quite easily. They are covered for everything except the condition in question. And, usually, even the pre-existing condition is covered after a specified waiting period.

    Posted 21 Sep 2007 at 7:18 pm
  7. Alan wrote:

    This analysis of the new uninsured numbers is greatly underreported. What’s also been flying below much of the media’s radar is the fact that as many as a million uninsured Californians are eligible for existing state programs, but fail to enroll in them. Yet the recent budget cut about $66 million from outreach efforts to get more children into Healthy Families and MediCal. There are certainly Californians who want health insurance and either can’t get it or can’t afford it. We need to help them be a part of the system. Amid all the talk of expanding state programs, it would be nice if Sacramento demonstrated it could deliver on its existing programs first.

    Posted 23 Sep 2007 at 7:35 pm

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