Is the US Really That Uninsured?

I was trying to pin down the number of insured Americans (I know the stats won’t include immigrants not paying taxes), when I found some information posted back in 2005 that seemed to be the most concise.  For all this talk about needing reform, about 1/4 of the uninsured American population are not even citizens, so the reform mandates won’t apply to them.  Almost 1/2 of the uninsured population are under 34, and typically don’t want to spend anything on health insurance because they are young and healthy.  That leaves about 1/4 of the 15% of the US Population that was uninsured and possibly wanted to have insurance.  What is that, less than 4% of the population falls into the category of not having insurance but possible wanting it?  We are reforming health care for 96% of the US population (taking out the other 4% which are non-citizens who aren’t affected) for the 4% of us who don’t have health care and might want it?!?  Is my math right on this?  So where is all of this hype about the high number of uninsured Americans coming from, then?  And I’d  guess there are probably quiet a few in that 4% that qualify for insurance by simply haven’t filled out an insurance or Medicare form yet. 

From About.com contributor Robert Longley:
Number of Uninsured is a Quickly Moving Target
In his nationally televised press conference on July 22, President Obama stated, “If we don’t act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day.” While this figure may be accurate, not all of those 14,000 people will lose their insurance permanently. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the course of every year millions of Americans lose their health insurance, but only temporarily. Most people become uninsured because they lose or leave their jobs and regain insurance coverage when they return to work. In 2007, the Census Bureau reported that 253.4 million people — about 85 percent of the total population — did have health insurance.

The Citizenship Factor
According to Census Bureau data, of the estimated 46 million “Americans” without health insurance, more than 10 million are non-U.S. citizens.

Some Just Don’t Want Insurance
Many young workers, whose employers do offer it, simply do not consider health insurance. According to the Census Bureau, 18.3 million of the uninsured are under age 34.

Full article is here, just remember it is from 2009: http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/medicarehealthinsurance/a/insurancestats.htm

2 responses

In 47 states car insurance is mandatory yet 14.6% of the drivers who own cars do not have car insurance, that’s why we have “uninsured motorist” coverage.
It is a federal offense not to file a tax return yet 14.7% of the population don’t file taxes. Only 15.3% of the population don’t have a health plan, so really, that’s not a bad number

Right, so if it is 15.3% now and it was 15% in 2007, where is this fear coming from of a massive number of people losing insurance daily? That’s why I liked the article, becasue it points out they are “losing” insurance as they change jobs, only to regain their coverage, but we don’t talk about that part, just the first part. And only 1/4 of that 15.3 might even want insurance. That’s such a tiny number. It’s unfortunate to not have insurance and want it because you never know when the unexpected will happen, but it is still too small of a number to freak out about.

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