The Federation of American Hospitals on Thursday plans to announce a proposal that would require all U.S. residents to obtain health insurance, the New York Times reports (Freudenheim, New York Times, 2/22). FAH released the proposal on the group's Web site on Wednesday and will discuss the plan at a press conference on Thursday (AP/Boston Globe, 2/22). Under the proposal, which FAH hopes might become part of federal legislation after the 2008 presidential election, residents would have to enroll in health plans offered by employers, purchase individual health insurance or obtain coverage through public programs.
Sounds good so far.
According to FAH, the proposal would increase the $900 billion that federal and state governments spend annually on health care by $115.2 billion.
The proposal does not indicate a source for the additional funds, "raising immediate questions about the political viability of the plan," the Times reports.
The source should be obvious.
hospitals last year treated more than one million uninsured residents in emergency departments at an estimated cost of $1 billion to $1.5 billion.
Cost of treating uninsured, up to $1.5B.
Cost to taxpayers to cover everyone, +$115B.
So what is the extra $113.5B for?