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 â€ścrisisâ€? 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 â€śplight of the uninsuredâ€? 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 â€ścrisisâ€? 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.