WSJ Commentary on the mythical uninsured
Posted by Liberty on November 21, 2008
William Snyder points out some interesting facts that are being left out of the socialized medicine debate. For instance:
“Many Americans believe that the uninsured are too poor to purchase coverage and that government programs aren’t available to them. But a study published in Health Affairs in November 2006 estimated that 25% of the uninsured were in fact eligible for public coverage, and another 20% probably could afford coverage on their own. If we apply those percentages to today’s uninsured population, roughly 25 million people would need assistance in order to get health insurance.”
“A study published by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) in April 2000 found that, of the uninsured California residents whose household income was at least twice the poverty level, 50% (about 1.3 million) had received care in the last year for which they were charged, and another 8% had received care for which they weren’t charged. The study also found that 89% of these people were either somewhat or very satisfied with the care they received, and that only 15% went to the emergency room versus a doctor’s office or clinic when they got sick.
Another recent study, published in Health Affairs in August, had similar findings, and estimated that uninsured Americans will receive $86 billion worth of health care in 2008.”
“These two studies also provide evidence that disputes the free-rider myth. The CHCF study found that of the 1.3 million uninsured who received care for which they were charged, 80% had paid for it, and almost half of the remaining 20% were paying in installments. The study published in Health Affairs estimated that the uninsured would pay for $30 billion of their health-care costs this year — more than one-third — out of pocket.”
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