Monday, August 24, 2009

The Uninsured

The numbers aren't changing.

We have looked at this for years, and there is little shift, if any at all, in who are the uninsured.
According to the New York Times, the 47 million break down something like this.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that about two-thirds of the uninsured — 30 million people — earn less than twice the poverty level, or about $44,000 for a family of four.
The solution is simple.

Expand Medicaid by allowing those making more than 100% of the FPL to buy in on a sliding scale. That eliminates two thirds of that number overnight and you don't have to unravel a system that works to accomplish that feat.
About nine million uninsured people, according to census data, come from households with incomes of $75,000 or more.
If you can afford health insurance, and someone earning $75k+ should certainly meet that criteria, then buy it. A mandate seems to make sense here.

Buy it or pay a 14% of gross income penalty.
Some 13 million young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 lack coverage.
Same here.

Buy it or pay a penalty tax.
Some 11 million of the poorest people, mostly low-income children and their parents, are thought to be eligible for public insurance programs but have failed to enroll
Whose fault is this?

They are eligible for free health insurance paid for by taxpayers, but not enrolled. Sounds like the government is not doing their job.

Yeah, I know. Shocking . . .
Some 9.7 million of the uninsured are not citizens; of those, more than six million may be illegal immigrants, according to informed estimates.
Why even count these folks if you are not going to insure them?

I'm not saying we should pay for their health insurance, but that makes the 47 million figure bogus.

If you are keeping score, it seems the NYT calculator wasn't plugged in.

When you add 30 + 9 + 13 + 11 + 9.7 (call it 10) you get 73 million uninsured.

But who is counting?
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