Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who really are the uninsured?

Politicians and the media often state that 47 million are uninsured, roughly 15 percent of people living in the U.S., but what are the numbers behind that statistic? Who are these people?
The Census Bureau points out that almost 10 million of those are illegal aliens. According to the same report there are 8.3 million uninsured who make between $50,000 and $75,000 per year. Many of these are the young and healthy who would rather spend $200 some odd dollars a month playing than paying for health coverage. Almost 9 million more make more than $75,000 per year.
If we count those that are transitioning between jobs, but that will have coverage in less than 4 months.. we may be able to discount a full 45 percent of the almost 20 million left.
Studies done by The Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit founded to inform media and government on health issues... "puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million. That is a much smaller figure than the media reports. Kaiser’s 8.2 million figure for the chronically uninsured only includes those uninsured for two years or more."8.2 million represents about 2 percent of Americans. That said, I agree with President Obama that we are our brothers keeper.
It must be understood that Health Insurance is not the same as Health Care. Even illegals in this country have access to health care. There are free clinics where the poor and illegals can receive pre-natal care and have their cuts sewn up. Their babies are delivered in hospitals.. no questions asked. No one can be turned away from an Emergency Room.. it is against the law.
Crack babies born premature and in disastrous health will have a million dollars spent on their care before they even leave the hospital. Who pays for all of this?? We do. Americans are very generous. What do you think hospital and doctor bills would be like if the hospitals didn't pass these costs on to every patient who is able to pay? Some of this type of health care is tax payer funded and much is passed along to the insured who are able to pay.. in other words us.
Much of that is OK with me because I want to be compassionate and good. But don't wreck the best, by far the best, health care system in the world over faulty statistics and political power grabs.
That said, there are many things that we could do to improve our current system. I like the ideas John Mackey wrote in a recent article for the WSJ.
Socialized medicine is a Trillion dollar gamble with poor odds since it has compromised the economies of almost every European nation and Canada. Let's take some time and think it out very carefully and then when our representatives come up with something, let's do our own thinking on it. Let's ask that actual reform not be buried in pork spending so we can barely find the bill.If Americans tune into the fall television line up and stop watching their government, they may wake up in the spring to a lesser America.. one they don't even recognize.

Read more here.

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