You have heard it said a thousand times, spewing forth from the mouths of Washington bureaucrats and politicos (notably Democrats), the Whitehouse inner circle, the liberal media and, of course, President Obama, that the number of chronically uninsured in America is 46 million, or is it 47 million Americans. This is usually followed by a statement of pseudo-outrage that this must be stopped and all Americans must be covered with health insurance. But are these numbers correct and is this outrageous bravado on behalf of the uninsured justified?
I’m willing to admit, as is almost anyone, that there are shortcomings within America’s health care system and that there are those individuals and families that fall through the health care cracks and need to be included for the safety and welfare of themselves and family. But are there really as many as 47 million in such need?
Briefly, let’s breakdown the numbers. First, there an estimated 10 million (perhaps more) illegal immigrants in this country that are uninsured that are included within the 47 million estimate. Now, I have nothing against immigrants; my forefathers and those of most Americans, were immigrants. But if you are here illegally you do not and should not qualify for taxpayer subsidized benefits of any kind – period. Of course, President Obama and his fellow Democrats say there is no provision in the health care bill to cover illegals. But that is because Obama plans to make all illegals legal.
But let’s get to the real numbers provided by the 2007 Census Bureau report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States. If you access the 84-page report, pay particular attention to the data on page 22. Of the official estimate of 45.657 million in the United States without health insurance coverage, 9.737 million are in this country illegally. Another 17.603 million have incomes over the median U.S. income and earn $50,000 or more but, for whatever reason, chose not to have health insurance. That is a total of 27.34 million of the “uninsured” touted by the Obamacareans that could have insurance by traditional methods or should not have insurance because they are illegal – just like illegals are treated in the majority of countries.
But wait, there’s more. The Census Bureau admits that it “underreported the total number of those who actually have insurance and that it “underreported” those covered by Medicaid and Medicare. Also, it has been revealed by the Congressional Budget Office that 45 percent of those uninsured during a given year are only uninsured temporarily due to job transitions and will have coverage again within four months.
So, what does this all add up to? Point blank: There is no health insurance coverage crisis in America! Are there those that are uninsured that need insurance? Yes! Do we need to rein in health care costs? Yes! Does health care in America need improvement? Yes! But do we need a government take-over of health care to accomplish this? Absolutely not!
And has the the crisis of the uninsured been escalating? No! According to the same Census Bureau report, the percentage of uninsured in all catagories has remained relatively constant over twenty years (1987-2007) at about 15 percent of the population.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (a liberal non-profit) puts the true extent of the uninsured at somewhere between 8.2 and 13.9 million (less than 5 percent of the U.S. population). If we take the higher number to be true, then it would be far cheaper (an estimated $50 billion/year) to offer these uninsured an insurance purchase voucher ($2,000 for singles; up to $5,000 for families) to purchase their own insurance through private plans. Instead, the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate favor a massive government controlled take-over that will cost Americans trillions in wasteful spending and no better delivery of quality health care.
Tell your senators and representatives in Washington, “No thank you. Stay away from my health care needs.”