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  • The Real Story On The Uninsured

    You hear or read the number all the time. The New York Times breathlessly reports there are 46 million uninsured Americans and President Barack Obama routinely asserts the same number. The Census Bureau estimates, however, do not tell the entire story. The uninsured are a diverse and dynamic population, and the higher frequency of coverage loss is not only a function of the recession, but of the flaws inherent in the health insurance markets, namely the inability of individuals and families to secure and maintain personal and portable coverage. Data released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enables taxpayers to drill deeper into the problem.

    The AHRQ data reaffirms there are gaps in coverage. There is nothing new here; it is the problem that conservative health policy analysts have been trying to address for the last two decades. It is a structural problem in the insurance markets. While the millions who lose and gain coverage- the source of middle class anxiety- is not much different now than it was in the last ten years or more, it is well to remember that the number of Americans who are poor, sick, and uninsured for a lengthy period is a relatively small number, about 4 million individuals. This is problem is not hard to resolve.

    What Congress should focus on, then, is how to make health insurance personal and portable; something moderates and conservatives in Congress, based on their own legislative proposals, know exactly how to do. Instead what we are getting is just an acceleration of the already fast tracked government control of health care.

    Take the SCHIP data from AHRQ. There were 5.9 million uninsured children in 1999. In 2007, there were still 5.9 million uninsured children (Statistical Brief #259). Public coverage went up, and private coverage went down; but overall, coverage remained the same. Consider that the cumulative cost of SCHIP and increased Medicaid enrollment of children has exceeded $100 billion. The data suggests that much of this spending has simply substituted taxpayer dollars for private dollars. It’s called crowd out, and it is profoundly irresponsible public policy. For every two dollars of spending, you get a $1 worth of coverage. This is likely to be repeated if Congress enacts the same, tired, old formula: expansion of public programs. Neither the Administration nor Congress has yet to explain how much of the $1.2 trillion in new spending under the House legislation will go to simply replacing private spending with taxpayer dollars.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    71 Responses to The Real Story On The Uninsured

    1. Bill, San Antonio TX says:

      Great article.

      This should be the first thing that talking heads or citizens should bring up every time the 47 to 50 million "uninsured" number is brought up.

      If you want to reform health insurance than the illegal immigration problem has to be brought to the forefront. IF they are included and it extends to family members and more illegal aliens keep coming into the CONUS, than how do you ever control costs? Unless there is legislative language such as "will not be covered under any circumstance", then any cost controls and estimates are bogus.

      There are two very good reasons why illegal immigration will not be "addressed" until next year AND after health care, 1) amnesty or legislation leading towards citizenship and 2) the CENSUS.

      Both are purely political and the hope is that it will translate into a huge increase in democratic voters.

    2. Bridget Willard says:

      hear, not here

      "You here o"

    3. Dan Thomas says:

      Why doesn't the fact that 25% of the insured are "illegal aliens" make headlines? This is nonsense! There currently isnt a single person (legal or illegal) who will be turned away at an emergency room for a life threatening injury but we now must find a way to pay for illegals to receive routine physicals. Life is good. No taxes, no insurance cost!!

      Dan Thomas

      Elkridge, md

    4. Mac, Louisiana says:

      The Heritage foundation's estimates are pure speculation with an attitude.

      There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance.

      The conservative agenda has failed us, they had plenty of time to from 2001-06 to deal with the healthcare crisis of which they nothing.

    5. Mac, Louisiana says:

      The Heritage foundation’s estimates are pure speculation with an attitude.

      There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance.

      The conservative agenda has failed us, they had plenty of time to from 2001-06 to deal with the healthcare crisis of which they did nothing.

    6. Mac, Louisiana says:

      I respectfully disagree with the Heritage foundation’s estimates. The author's estimates are pure speculation with an attitude.

      There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance.

      The conservative agenda in this matter has failed us, they had plenty of time to from 2001-06 to deal with the healthcare crisis of which they did nothing.

    7. Mac, Louisiana says:

      There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance.

      The conservatives in this matter has failed us, they had plenty of time to from 2001-06 to deal with the healthcare crisis of which they did nothing.

    8. Mac, Louisiana says:

      There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance.

    9. Bob Wynne, Havertown says:

      I don't understand why the Heritage Foundation, and the conservative movement in general, is not promoting highly efficient heathcare services and insurance markets. This more conservative track would preempt the government option.

      Now we have duopolies and oligopolies which the commercial interests love but poorly serve the marketplace and US citizens.

      I think you are vulnerable to being attacked for not following your principles.

    10. Rubicon says:

      Why is it the 'media' are failing abysmally to deliver these facts to the public & why are they failing to actually ask members of Congress questions about this, when those Congressional members are interviewed incessantly by media types… who seem to be promoting Obama-Care rather than trying to help the public understand how we want our Congress to deal with actual health care reforms?

      The hype our media is delivering in their feeble attempts to promote all things Obama, makes them look pathetic in the extreme. All understand there are talking heads in the media. Opinion shows are a dime a dozen. However, many media types are including their own personal political desires in the supposed 'hard news' stories they deliver. In short, we no longer get hard news, we get politicized news tailored to fit the agenda of whatever political leanings our media types support. Most support leftist programs & policies. While there are some right leaning news types, they are actually rare & ironically they all seem to be trying hard to deliver all the facts for us to decide rather than the decidedly leftist deliveries we get from what many call the old mainstream media.

      These "FACTS" refute much of the hyperbole we get from many in the media. These facts show we are being lead down a path by those media types who appear to be hoping they can catch hold of & live off the socialist tendencies of many of our current crop of politicians!

      Health care reform would fix what is currently broken. H. R. 3200 & the other plans currently under review, are NOT reforms. They are total destruction of the current private market health care & insurance systems, albeit incrementally.

      Why must they always propose 'comprehensive' reforms, when all that means is more government, more taxes, more regulations, lost freedoms, & more intrusions into our private lives?

    11. Gene Henderson, Pitt says:

      Hey, there are no uninsured in America. If a homeless person gets hit by a bus and is still alive they will be immediately taken to the hospital and receive medical treatment. After it is discovered they have no personal insurance, their follow up treatment will likely be minimal, not nonexistent throughout as the politicians would have you believe. This is to be expected. This would occur under any health system we have in this country. Some folks are going to have better coverage than others. There is no way we can all have equal coverage. We would all like to have the coverage the President has with a whole team of physicians that are only attending to our personal medical needs. Would be nice. Anyway, there is way to much lying and way to much wishful thinking in this whole debate, like the wishful thinking that comes with hope and change which is making me gag.

      Gene

      Pittsburgh

    12. Sean, North Carolina says:

      So, how many uninsured people is ok with you?

      The homeless person who gets hit by a bus is not given minimal treatment in the short term.

      Please don't even think selfish behavior such as this is even close to a Christian ethic. You should read His teachings and try to be a part of a solution which eases suffering.

    13. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      The whole subject of a public health option doesn't belong at the federal level in the first place. Such social concerns belong with the individual states and local communities. The nation's congress and president are constitutionally tasked with providing for a common defense. Unfortunately, they've been sidetracked by a socialist agenda. Fact is they should be focused on procurement of future defensive systems such as the F-22 Raptor, which they shortsightedly pulled the plug-on. Losing our military edge against ever increasing foreign threats will prove a far greater calamity than leftist fears about their uninsured.

    14. Bobbie Jay says:

      Mac, 46 million is speculation and not a crisis. Especially taking into account the 300 million that reside in the country.

      Sean, the people of the Christian faith build the strength of those unknowing they have it. Human life is for the individual and what the individual makes of it regardless of faith..,

      You are your own person regardless of your faith, take on your responsibilities to your health and the children's health and upbringing of which your actions brought into the world…

      J.C. Hughes is absolutely, correct!

    15. Alvin says:

      60 years of progressives hasn't helped, that is for sure.

      Mac, Louisiana wines:

      "There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance."

      Well, we can certainly tell how many aren't insured when they show up at hospitals for treatment, provide bogus serials, then skip out on the bills.

    16. fc, nc says:

      there are many people who spend their lives playing. they prefer the highway to hell over the nose to the grindstone work a day life. they want to have fun. in the end, they spend all their money on selfish indulgences and put little or no effort into paying for their healthcare or retirement. with government healthcare we will pay for their play. if government would get out of healthcare the lazy, fun loving losers would have to make do on the kindness of strangers, like the church or whatever. that is how i think it should be. as individuals, each of us could evaluate each needy person and donate as we see fit and as we're lead. the truly needy would be cared for and the lazy slackers would suffer the consequences. that is how it should be.

    17. MadMan Marc says:

      I would like to address Mac:

      Mac, Louisiana writes:

      I respectfully disagree with the Heritage foundation’s estimates. The author’s estimates are pure speculation with an attitude. (Yes this is true but I believe it is pretty close)

      There is no way to accurately estimate how many illegals are actually buying health insurance. (WoW what a statement! I think maybe none. Mac what What makes you think they would buy insurance they are here illegally. They are not here having a good time they are here to make money to send back to where every they come from. They would rather not let anyone know they are here "illegally" Duh!)

      The conservative agenda in this matter has failed us, they had plenty of time to from 2001-06 to deal with the healthcare crisis of which they did nothing. (Well Gee I thought "they" was a little busy just after 09/11/2001 but I could be wrong.)

    18. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 08/31/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    19. DANIEL CABRERA, MERR says:

      THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS WISE AND IS VERY WELL INFORMED NOW ____

      COMPROMISE?…whith this administration? That is an error of gargantuans proportions,…and why?…simple;

      DECEPTION (as always) IS THE FRAME OF WHATEVER "GOOD AND PROMISING WORDS" MAY COME FROM THE OBAMA GANG.____

      Whether is via any of the 'sub-terraneans presidents' or through Obama himself(propagandist-in-chief) reading with master and theatrical eloquency from a teleprompter,…no matter how the convincing proposition(s) are going to be delivered or by whom…is only a way to "GO THROUGH THE BACK DOOR'…and then, once the project is in place, the 'FINE PRINT' – NOT SEEN BY THE SOLD-OUT REPUBLICANS AND 'BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS',…then the 'FINE PRINT' will start the motion of TO FOOL THE PUBLIC ONCE AGAIN.____

      People, listen up and wise-up ,…remember that DECEPTION, DISHONESTY AND LACK OF INTEGRITY ARE THE TRADEMARKS OF THE OBAMA GANG – A CORRUPTED ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL, ANTI-AMERICAN BAND, ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE , ENEMIES OF THE STATE, AND SO ACTING IN TREASON WITH AGENDA OF DESTRUCTION FOR OUR GREAT COUNTRY!…remember that!

      And whow this does play out for you?

      Daniel Cabrera

      Merrillville,Indiana

    20. Charles, The Republi says:

      Someone tell Mac to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Illegals for the most part do not buy insurance, auto or health, they "USE" the system. A good example is UTMB – Galveston. Insiders will tell you that the facility was in trouble before Hurricane IKE. They were bleeding approx $17 million a year, mostly due to the illegals. Around Dec 07 they changed their policy to only allow illegals "emergency care", the bleeding began to stop. Houston is a "Sanctuary City" in spite of what Mayor Bill White says. Go to any of the Harris County medical facilities & they are filled with individuals that either cannot, will not or barely speak English. But they do know how to use the system. It's hard to get an accurate estimate of the true financial costs when you have individuals that have a different identity everytime they seek medical attention. As I have said before fixing "healthcare" takes 3 steps: 1) Control immigration, 2) Tort reform, 3) Follow the Constitution.

    21. schrum, Tennessee says:

      Daniel, yes, the American people have been duped by Obama!!!!

      Charles, yes I agree; illegals do not buy any type of insurance, especially health insurance. Why shdould they when they get health care for free. They do play the system. Something does need to be done about immigration.

      Healthcare should not be a federal matter but a state matter. Tennesse has TennCare. It was great in the beginning; but soon individuals began abusing the system and now it is broke. The same would happen with a federal program. There has to be a way of policing it and be fair at the same time.

    22. Maria, NC says:

      Want to reduce health care cost? Easy – affordable premium, high deductible insurance owned by individuals (for life, if desired) coupled with tax deductible health savings accounts. There is no fraud when the patient is actually seeing and paying each bill. There is no waste when the patient buys healthcare like he chooses clothing. Each patient optimizes his own healthcare choices. True freedom. This choice exists in some states, but is about to be banned – unbelievable!

    23. Brad S,, Detroit, MI says:

      I would like to know the number of uninsured that willfully do not participate in the health insurance game because they are in their – "10 feet tall and bulletproof" stage of life. I am talking about those individuals in the 18 to 35 age range that don't want to pay monthly premiums because they would rather divert that disposable income to other items. You can hardly blame someone that would rather buy a car, a plasma TV or some other such extravagance (vacation ?) than pouring money into the health insurance market that they most likely will not ever use during this portion of their life. Part of the health insurance imbalance exists because the pool of this segment of the population does not balance out the segment of the population – older, obese, pre-existing conditions – that use more than their fair share of the available health care. Just like the good drivers that pour money into the auto insurance market – most states require you to have it – and bear the cost of the bad drivers, you don't have the same situation in the health market. The whole health care reform "movement" certainly does not need Federal Government interference. In fact, the current rules & regulations need to be relaxed or eliminated, definitely a situation of addition by subtraction. (There never will be any savings in Health Care without Tort Reform . . .)

    24. Jody Barry, Thousand says:

      Guys, you start off with a good idea…to show how the total uninsured are broken down and you stop at 22 Million..then you just state there are 4 Million in the sick, uninsured, poor category…where did the 18 Million go…sometimes you guys must not read your own articles before they go out…I see the same thing with your videos…you guys are good but you need better editors.

      JB

    25. Robert, Orangeburg, says:

      The number being floated by the Obama administration is indeed inflated. On the subject of illegal immigrants I can vouch for their gaming of the system. I work "on the streets" in NYC. I see their trips to emergency rooms for routine procedures like colds, headaches, etc. Many of these trips to the hospital involve 911 ambulance call (these are costs also-POLICE, EMS). Why are we paying for this? I do not lack compassion but you must invest in OUR country to get OUR services. Check any check cashing or Western Union Office and you will see the money finding its way OUT OF THE COUNTRY. Hard working?-Maybe; Invested inthe USA?-NO. Pay taxes, learn OUR language, follow OUR laws. Assimilate cohesively into OUR society. Do not set up enclaves in our country that are devoid of any allegiance to OUR flag. My ancestors from Europe learned to fly OUR flag. The American "melting pot" derives its strength from other cultures bring parts of their old cultures with them to this country BUT this must be coupled with an aspiration to promote American ideals-The country does not bend to the individual. We have nothing if we do not have our culture, tradition and heritage!

    26. John, Florida says:

      The bottom line is that if one illegal alien drives a car in this country or gets medical care, with or without insurance, this country's system has failed. Illegal aliens shouldn't be in this country much less be allowed to participate in any of our programs!

    27. John, Florida says:

      I get tired of hearing about the "… right to basic healthcare…". What part of our COnstitution gives us that "right"?

    28. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      As a nurse I will tell you, illegal, criminal what ever, when you come into an ER you get the same level of care, pts. in a hospital also get same level. I worked in Miami Fla. I saw prisoners brought in for surgery to reverse an ilieostomy, this was needed because he stabbed himself to prevent going to jail, this was paid for by tax payers, in a nursing home there were patients,2, both convicted criminals, one I remember was a quadraplegic because he attempted to hang himself and caused damage to his spine. His care was also paid by tax payers and in both cases these people got the same care as others, only difference in the surgery a deputy was ourside the door and two were on the ward at all times, In nursing home there were no guards as they couldn't go anywhere. If anyone doubts the care illegals get go to any hospital where here are many illegals and see what is in the ER waiting room, I went to ER with internal bleeding three years ago, I waited four hours to be seen, during that time 3 came in to deliver(No pre natal care)their anchor babies, there were two other whites, three black,and about ten latinos, most with kids who had colds or fevers of unknown origin. Health care needs reform, not Govt. run, tort reform and being able to take with you, like Life Ins.or auto Ins. Premiums could be based on the coverage you want. Also remember a great deal of us paid for years into Insurances and didn't use them or barely used them, this is what it should be. You pay Life premiums and finally someone collects when you die,meanwhile the Ins. Co. invests this money and hopefully makes a profit, your auto Ins. is the same, how many carry Ins for years and never use it, or if they do pay the $500 or so, deductable and collect a small amount. I know we pay a great deal in Home owners and Auto and in the last 25 years we have had three claims total that barely come to 3,000, In health Ins. my premiums far outway what the Ins. Co. pays out in a year. I hope to keep it that way. Life Ins. is higher if you smoke, use drugs, are a diabetic, have high blood pressure, if you don't take care of your house you pay more, same with your car, why not with your health??

    29. Normca says:

      Gee; the smart ones are in DC for sure [and some even write here]. USPS and AMTRAK are doing so well that we need the government to take over another major aspect of our daily lives. Lets just go with 47 million [or 50 or 60 for that matter]. That's because you without access to data can count better. Can you also pay your own health insurance premiums ? The media and Obama are trying t put one over on us all. They already have SCHIP; so what do they count children all over again ? Its not about the numbers; the numbers are a tool for the left; just like Rove, Haliburton [who Willy first selected ], Gingrich or any whipping boy they have used in the past. It is about one thing – Power. And we need to stop them; not taken over with numbers or the media. Wake up and look at the main point.

    30. Earl, Queens, NY says:

      Recently someone writing against ObamaCare asked – if a sixth of Americans were homeless, would we all be forced to live in government owned public housing? This is a good point seldom mentioned – if the Democraps succeed with this health care raw deal, which other areas of our lives will they take over next? Since a % of Americans don’t have cars, I wonder if the government will force everyone onto public transportation? (This would make the environmentalist wackos happy!!) Well, with the Democraps in power, all bad things are possible!!

    31. Joe Collins says:

      Why does the role of the FDA, never get any press time.. or why don't we ever see a dicussion about what is the cause of high cost of health care. All we hear is create a new program, throw more money at the problem.. Let's have a discussion about how we got hear and what the causes are why we are hear; then maybe we can get to some real answers………The FDA put in place, to protect the consumer, now works more for the drug companies and big money, than the consumers. They allow genetic modified foods on the market, but will not label them, as such. They allow milk on the market, that have added hormones, they won't even do that in Europe. Let's start where the problem really is. Public money pays wages for the FDA, they should be working for us……..next– Drug companies, probably started with concerns about bring helpful drugs to the market, but now they are all about money and not health care. Our doctors push their drugs.. you know our bodies are made of the earth, minerals, water,, i.e. foods from the earth; not drugs, and yes there are some good drugs that help.. but many that do not. — You know before we had HMO's (again about profits), we build county hospitals..a success story.. let's look at some history,(as we are taught in school) to develop answer that work or worked and recognize those that did not. Let's look for the causes (more than one) before we may create a full answer.. most answer do not take a thousand page though……..example God gave us 10 simple rules to follow and do well in life.. maybe we only need 10 simple pages, instead of a 1000 or more that nobody or few understand and/or do not even read…………………end Joe Collins

      P.S. Remember their are good doctors working in the Alternative field of health also,, maybe we should look at both sides and collectively have a quality health system.. Dr. Michael Murray has some good thoughts on this..

    32. TURTLE, TUCSON AZ. says:

      I ALREADY HAVE OBAMA CARE ITS CALLED MEDICARE, I PAY A MONTHLY PREMIUM OF 96.40 BUT I CAN'T AFFORD TO USE IT SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME, I'VE BEEN PAYING INTO IT ALL THE TIME WORKING AND NOW WHEN I'M NOT ABLE TO WORK AND STILL CAN'T AFFORD A VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL BUT BECAUSE I LIVE ALONE I CAN'T QUALIFY FOR ANY OTHER ASSISTANCE NOT EVEN FOODSTAMPS

      BUT IF I WAS AN ILLEGAL I COULD GET ALL THE HELP I NEEDED FOR FREE, WHATS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE

    33. DCC, ME says:

      I agree with the earlier comment that healthcare should be handled by individual states. Furthermore, healthcare IS NOT A RIGHT! Illegals SHOULD NOT be covered! All citizens have the opportunity to work for a living and make choices, such as, DO I WANT HEALTH INSURANCE? If the answer is in the affirmative, then figure out a way to pay for it. Don't depend on the government to take care of you. Take some responsibility!! Dictorial, fascist, socialist governments DO NOT WORK, ALONGSIDE FREEDOM!!

    34. BDean, Texas says:

      Mac, My thoughts on the conservative agenda from 2001 – 2006 was not conservative but very progressive. GW was very progressive in his social views and took the "conservative" or "compassionate conservative" agenda the way of the progressive. That's why you don't see a whole lot of difference between Bush and Obama in dealing with the financial crises. BIG GOV to the rescue.

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    36. MadMommy says:

      My husband and I can't get insurance due to pre existing conditions. But if I had a health emergency and went to the ER for treatment. I would get a BIG BILL for the services. If I couldn't pay my bill, the hospital/doctor/ambulance service etc… would send it to collections…. and they would get their money or I would lose my home, my savings, everything I've worked for my whole life would be on the chopping block. But THEY would get paid in full.

      Not so if I were an illegal immigrant. If I was here illegally, they hospital would process my paperwork to the state for medical coverage and the balance of my treatment cost would be forgiven. If I couldn't get medical coverage through the state, no bill at all. FREE. Ask any hospital administrator in any hospital and they'll tell you the same.

      Is that fair?

    37. Dave, Maryland says:

      Funny how you never hear anyone mention Community Health Centers. There are over 1200 of them, with several thousand additional locations to serve the population. They are in cities and rural areas. They are there primarily to serve the homeless, migrant workers, and so-called "uninsured." Their Federal budget is now about $2 billion a year. No one is ever turned away for any purpose, AND IT INCLUDES MENTAL HEALTH AND DENTAL CARE! So, the bottom line is, you may label someone as "uninsured," but, if they get great medical care of all kinds, and they don't have to pay a dime, they're "insured." Poke around on this site: http://www.nachc.com. We're already paying for this, and it works. Over 6 million of their patients are classified as "uninsured" (they AVERAGE more than four visits to the doctor per year) simply because no one other than we taxpayers is paying for their care. Isn't that the same as Medicare and Medicaid, when you get right down to it? So, are all of those folks "uninsured," too?

    38. ramblue, wichita, ks says:

      This story needs to be told and retold by every Republican, at every level of representation. Obamacare is the holy grail for democrats. If it passess we lose one sixth of our private enterprise to the government.

    39. Jerry from Chicago says:

      It wouldn't matter if there were 40 million uninsured, or 4 million or 4,000, there would still be the same liberals wringing their hands over the fact and trying to get the government to "do something" about it.

      Obama and his friends will swear all day that his government run health plan will not cover illegal aliens. Don't believe it for even a minute. If he can ram this through into law, there is nothing to stop him from granting blanket amnesty to all those illegal aliens. Once he does that, they aren't illegal anymore and are fully ENTITLED to all the freebees this country has to offer.

      Gee, who do you think all those new citizens would vote for in the next election? But the Democrats would never do such a thing just to get elected, now would they?

      What a miracle worker! Mr. Obama solves the problem of illegal aliens in this country by simply declaring them to be legal. He then solves the problem of the millions of uninsured by making the rest of us pay for it.

    40. LDinNevada says:

      If what I have read is correct, over a period of time, there will be no other option than the gov't program. It will be just a massive expansion of Medicare, covering people of all ages. The "public option" will try to compete with private insurance, similar to what happened in Canada. However, in Canada the gov't actually forced privately-insured people into the gov't program because it needed those premiums.

      So, let's assume that is the case. What's being proposed, then, is the destruction of private insurance which is satisfactory to over 100 million Americans, just to cover fewer than 10 million "uninsureds." Doesn't make sense to me!

    41. Jeff, Spotsylvania, says:

      The problem is not the quality of care, it is not the accessibility of care and its not whether someone has insurance. The problem in healthcare is cost. Why does an MRI cost $2800, why does 2 spirin in a hospital cost $86 and why does a visit to a hospital for a routine broken arm cost $3000. Its because government has driven these costs through the roof with HIPPA, JAYCO, bulls__t privacy concerns and no tort reform. Address the cost issue and then get it out of the Feds hands and let the states take care of their own.

    42. Pingback: The Real Story On The Uninsured « LRW_Blog

    43. Richard, TX says:

      Pre existing conditions only apply to those trying to get insurance on their own. Insurance provided by the employer covers everyone. Don't change the whole system, fix what is broken.

    44. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Not everyone can be saved! Not everyone should be saved! It is not up to you, me, nor any politician to play God and save everyone and everything from disaster. We are allowed to use our own money to help those who need help. The Government should never be allowed to mandate who should pay for who's needs! That is a very dangerous act, much akin to assuring that everyone was placed in all the remaining lifeboats aboard the Titanic.

      Hozro

    45. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      For MAC from Lousiana and other well-meaning Americans.

      Nothing should get any further than the word "illegal". The debate should stop right there. It's not about being mean-spirited. My wife is a legal immigrant and she had to do it LEGALLY. Citizenship is not some "game the system" gimmick. This is nothing but a travesty of justice.

      On one hand, we talk about being "law-abiding citizens."

      On the other hand, we talk about "illegals rights" ad nauseum.

      We are a nation of immigrants. Come here LEGALLY like other legal immigrants who may wait 10+ years to do it – LEGALLY.

      Open borders is not an option due to National Security let alone health care. Why is this so difficult to understand?

    46. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Jeff, Spotsylvania, VA writes:

      The problem is not the quality of care, it is not the accessibility of care and its not whether someone has insurance. The problem in healthcare is cost. Why does an MRI cost $2800, why does 2 spirin in a hospital cost $86 and why does a visit to a hospital for a routine broken arm cost $3000. Its because government has driven these costs through the roof with HIPPA, JAYCO, bulls__t privacy concerns and no tort reform. Address the cost issue and then get it out of the Feds hands and let the states take care of their own.

      One of the major reasons for health care costs being what they are is the concept of "managed care." At least in Michigan there is a "Certificate of Need" required for a human hospital or medical service provider to purchase any king of medical imaging device on the order of an MRI or CT Scanner. This means that the State already controls a major portion of medical diagnositc services and is counterproductive to competition. If the free market were allowed to come into play your MRI would be a lot less. Not understanding labor costs is a huge problem with public perception of costs. Your asprin costs $86.00 because of all the red tape associated with record keeping, pharmacy licenses,and the massive liability associated with dispensing drugs. See what happens when "the government" gets involved?

    47. duelles, santa fe says:

      Mac from LA writes too much. Every member of five members of my family have been on the census bureau's uninsured list 2-3 x in the past ten years. Switching jobs, schools etc.

      Our health care statistics are not apples to apples when compared with other developed countries. Particularly the infant mortality rate.

      In addition, there is no crisis. Only because it so proclaimed!

      Oh my. The idiots who wish to further enslave us and generations to come by our indebtedness must be done away with. The right to health care is a fantasy that we do not have.

      There are things that need to be changed, but not by having me py for more people than I already do. Check out Paul Ryan, Mac from LA.

    48. Pingback: The Real Story On The Uninsured | Concerned Citizens of Michiana

    49. John Price Grand Rap says:

      This is a pretty good article about numbers I have been wanting to see for a long time. Strange that a simple analysis of them has not been more openly forthcoming.

      Congress, democratic and republican has been working this problem for a lot more than 2001-2006.

      They have also been responsible for oversight of the financial system. Why would we want to have them take over another important function?

    50. Joy, Florida says:

      Our insurance premium went up again this year. It now seems as if its not worth it to have the insurance because you pay $200.00 a month out and then have to meet a deductible anyway which if you are fairly healthy you probably won't meet. So I ask myself what is the point of the $200 a month? You would spend that on your one or two doctor visits a year. yes, I agree you need basic coverage if you end up unexpectantly in the hospital, and there are insurance companies that offer this option. Great option if you are reasonably healthy. It is when you have medical problems that you fall into a category were you are meeting your deductible and it makes sense to pay out each month. That is the option you have the freedom to choose. You can also choose to have a healthier lifestyle – eating right and exercising. So why don't we concentrate more efforts, and I commend that we have made progress, on programs that promote eating right and exercise? Why can't the government offer this option instead of just paying form more subsidized medicine and doctors? How many illegals will jump on that? People chose to live like someone else will take care of there bad choices.

    51. Richard rural Texas says:

      Mac, Louisiana, why did it take you so many postings to still say nothing that made any sense?

      No national healthcare program without tort reform these are not attorney care programs.

      Then we get to the subject of, do we really want the same government that brought us Social Security, Medicare, Medcaid, Am Track and the Post Office? I say no, lets go back to the constitution, this is clearly a 10th Amendment issue. And if you don't know the constitution well since it is no longer taught in schools it means the founding fathers never viewed a strong central goverment, but rather a weak central goverment and strong State Governments, healthcare is clearly a state issue!

    52. Daniel says:

      THIS UPDATED, AUTHORITATIVE INFORMATION IS A GODSEND! THE DEBATE SHOULD BE ABOUT HOW TO HELP THE 22 MILLION CITIZENS AND LEGAL RESIDENTS THAT TRULY NEED HELP(WHICH INCLUDES THE TEMPORARILY UNINSURED IN-BETWEEN JOBS) OBTAIN COVERAGE, NOT HOW TO DESTROY THE EXISTING SYSTEM UNDER FALSE PREMISES, A SYSTEM WHICH 85% OF US STATE TO BE SATISFIED WITH!

      PLEASE, EVERYONE: WE KNOW THE LIBERAL MEDIA WILL NOT DO IT, SO KEEP POSTING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE NUMBER OF THE UNINSURED AND A REFERENCE TO THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE, IN EVERY MAJOR WEBSITE AND BLOG DISCUSSING HEALTH CARE REFORM (RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTER), ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE, VIA TWITTER, ETC. WE SHOULD NOT ADMIT THE 47 MILLION UNINSURED LIE BY REMAINING SILENT ANYMORE.

      I INTENDED TO DO THAT TODAY EVEN WITHOUT THIS GREAT UPDATED RESEARCH, BUT NOW I WILL ALSO BE CONTACTING ALL REPS IN CONGRESS, AND OUR PRESIDENT, TO STOP TELLING LIES AND ACTUALLY START OVER WITH AN OPEN AND HONEST DEBATE, EXPLICITLY CONSIDERING THE DOZENS OF GREAT MARKET-BASED REFORM IDEAS BEING BROUGHT UP DAILY IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE, THAT THEY SEEM TO BE TOTALLY TONE-DEAF TO!! ALSO PLEASE ADD YOUR SIGNATURE TO THE OVER 1.2 MILLION THAT HAVE ALREADY SIGNED THE PETITION FROM THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS, AT http://www.freeourhealthcarenow.com , THAT WILL FORCE THIS OPEN AND HONEST DEBATE WITH THE AMERICAN PUBLIC!!

      I BELIEVE ALL AMERICANS (INCLUDING THOSE ON THE HARD LEFT) WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH, AND WILL LISTEN TO THE FACTS (AND DEMAND IT FROM THEIR POLITICIANS) IF PRESENTED HONESTLY AND PERSUASIVELY. THEY WILL ALSO LISTEN TO THE FACT THAT MR. OBAMA HAS SOLD US OUT TO BIG PHARMA AND BIG INSURANCE – AFTER PROMISING THEM HE WOULDN'T DURING HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN – SHARE THIS LINK AS WELL.

      http://www.redstate.com/bs/2009/08/20/its-pretty-

      THANK YOU HERITAGE!!!

    53. Roger, Thornwood, N says:

      For years the government and people involved cried they were being taken to the cleaners by the cost of flood insurance. So the government decided they will enter the field to protect the consumer and now they issue flood insurance. Sound familiar? Since than, all or almost all private carriers have exited that portion of insurace coverage. They could not compete with the government pricing.

      Now we find that this year that the government plan is in debt to the tune of $18 BILLION. Yup,the private carriers overcharged, they simply should have been willing to drop $18 BILLION for the sake of the few.

      If the government is now in that big a debt on flood insurance, just how much debt do you think they will create by getting involved in healthcare?

      And despite what they constantly say, page 16 or HR3200 clearly states that if an individual loses his or her insurance coverage, they can than only obtain such coverage from a government plan after the date the plan goes into effect. Private insurers cannot offer these people new insurance.So where is the choice. Pres. Obama was asked about this the other day and claimed he was not familiar with this clause. Hummmm? I assume he had not read the bill either. Lest we forget this was the man whp constantly promised during the campaign that he would go through every spending bill line by line and eliminate waste etc. He has never done this. The stimulis package, his budget, the healthcare bill, others….

      Fuinally, why the the Democrats by straight party vote turn down amendments that made special mention that illegal immigrants would not be covered in this healthcare bill? If as they claim they will not, why not put it in writing as a part of this bill.

    54. Bob Lyons, Norfolk, says:

      According to a Current Population Survey of about 50,000 households performed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 45.7 million uninsured people in the United States in 2007. Advocates for expanding taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, and their allies in the media, repeat this 46 million number incessantly. This causes many to jump to the conclusion that the government must help 46 million folks “buy” health insurance subsidized by taxpayers. While visiting numerous sites on the Internet, I discovered a comprehensive breakdown by Mr. Keith Hennessey, former assistant to President George W. Bush on economic policy and Director of U.S. National Economic Council from 2007-2009. I extracted pertinent portions of an article on Mr. Hennessey’s web site dated April 9, 2009. The article was titled, “How many uninsured people need additional help from taxpayers?” I have included this extracted information, which I consider superior to your information, immediately below.

      •Of the 45.7 million, 6.4 million are the Medicaid undercount. These are people who are on one of two government health insurance programs, Medicaid or S-CHIP, but mistakenly (intentionally or not) tell the Census taker that they are uninsured. There is disagreement about the size of the Medicaid undercount. This figure is based on a 2005 analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services.

      •Another 4.3 million are eligible for free or heavily subsidized government health insurance (again, either Medicaid or S-CHIP), but have not signed up. While these people are not pre-enrolled in a health insurance program and are therefore counted as uninsured, if they were to go to an emergency room (or a free clinic), they would be automatically enrolled in that program by the provider after receiving medical care. There’s an interesting philosophical question that I will skip about whether they are, in fact, uninsured, if technically they are protected from risk.

      •Another 9.3 million are non-citizens. I cannot break that down into documented vs. undocumented.

      •Another 10.1 million do not fit into any of the above categories, and they have incomes more than 3X the poverty level. For a single person that means their income exceeded $30,600 in 2007, when the median income for a single male was $33,200 and for a female, $21,000. For a family of four, if your income was more than 3X the poverty level in 2007, you had $62,000 of income or more, and you were above the national median.

      •Of the remaining 15.6 million uninsured, 5 million are adults between ages 18 and 34 and without kids.

      •The remaining 10.6 million do not fit into any of the above categories, so they are: U.S. citizens, with income below 300% of poverty, not on or eligible for a taxpayer-subsidized health insurance program, and not a childless adult between age 18 and 34.

    55. Jerry from Chicago says:

      There is plenty of ways to reform health insurance. We don't need to replace it with a government run, single payer, health insurance program. Despite the constant criticisms from the Democrats that Republicans have no alternative plans to what the Congress has proposed in House bill 3200, this is just not true. What is true is that those same Democrats refuse to discuss those alternative and the lap dog media refuses put them out for public scrutiny.

      Mr. Obama plans to grant blanket amnesty to the illegal aliens in this country. This will be done as soon as he can get his government run health care plan rammed down out throats.

    56. Gary, Newport Beach says:

      Seems that the Liberals that have made comments here are missing the point (just as the Democrat leaders are failing to make the point).

      There are inequities and shortcomings in the current Adminstration of health-care benefits in this country. The initial mantra that got this ball rolling was "health care is too costly". There is nothing wrong with the quality of health care, the predominant problem is the cost.

      Inasmuch the cost is the predominant problem, a reasonable question would be: "why does it cost so much"? Most agree that the #1 driving force behind escalating costs are lawsuits and how they drive up the cost of malpractice insurance to hospitals and doctors. You may disagree, but the point here is to identify the sources for escalating costs, and then address those items! Why do we need to transform an entire system in order to fix 3-4 major problems that could be easily identified and rectified; especially given the costs. It seems prudent to first address this, then address that, and see the impact of these fixes piece at a time.

      Tort reform would go a long long way to lowering costs. The politicians won't even touch this issue, they are all on the dole to the ACLU; not to mention most are lawyers themselves and will be seeking cushy lobbying jobs should they ever leave office. They will not bite the hand that feeds them.

      Those that were saying that the illegal immigrants are unverifiable….well…Pelosi herself espouses this number of 12 million. The estimates run between 10 to 18 million, so the 12 million person estimate was a conservative one.

      I have had about a dozen attempts of a conversation with Liberals on H.R. 3200, which always resort in them calling me an idiot, a racist, a Bush-lover, or whatever insult they can whip out at the moment. In each and every instance I have asked the following questions:

      1. Have you read H.R. 3200?

      2. Have you read any of these Bills that are being machine gun fired at us?

      3. Have you ever read the Constitution?

      In all instances, they said NO. (and then called me a racist idiot once again). I asked: "how can a person so utterly uninformed argue a point with such vehemence and vitriol without realizing themselves that your own illiteracy on the subject matter relegates you to holding the title of Idiot"?

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    58. Amy, San Diego says:

      I only read the first few comments after this article but to those who continue to state that the conservative party has failed us and had years to address these problems, they most certainly did not. How long have we had a Democratic majority in Congress? Who passes bills? Who can even over ride the president, even if he tried to veto or pass a bill with a Congress that was not on his side? Just because a Republican president was in office, does not mean that the Democrats weren't still in charge and very much responsible for the current state of affairs for our country.

    59. Beth, NC says:

      I grew up with out health insurance. My family was to proud to get help from Social Services. There were many other Americans in the same boat in the 60's, and 70's. A year after I graduated college, I got married. My husband had great health, and dental insurance. The union where my husband worked got the vision insurance in 2002. After 40 years with the same company, my husband lost his job in 2004. We carried the insurance under COBRA for the eighteen months we were allowed to carry it under federal law. We paid $30 a month when my husband had his job. Under Cobra, we paid $1680 a month. My husband could not get insurance with any other company that would cover his health issues he was developing. Three months after the Cobra ended my husband had to have surgery. Three more months, he had to have the second surgery.

      In 2006, our healthy young son who had played all kinds sports became will. The doctors could not figure out his problem. Many test, hospital stays and so on $100,000 plus is what my young son is faced with paying back. He is now 23 and his credit has been affected because he owes so much in medical bills. For the record, they never did pin point his problem. Because of my husbands, and my sons medical bills we went from being upper tax payer to the working poor. We sold our beach house, our home in the mountains, plus other land we owned. we sold all our stock, used our retirement funds, maxed out our home equity line which had never been used before 2005. Our home was paid for before this all started.

      We have lost everything we had worked our whole lives to save. I have health issues which make it to expense to have insurance for myself. I never thought anything like this could have happened to my family. We were financially comfortable, now we are going to have to file bankruptcy we can not pay our expenses because of medical bills. If it happened to me, it could happen to you. We own our home and cars therefore we do not qualify for government help.

      If we had never saved our money and had nice things, we would qualify for social services. We gave our son land many years ago, so he does not qualify for social services either. We either pay the medical bills in full, or they will get a judgment against our home and my sons land.

      Until I lost my insurance, I never realized have many Americans don't have health insurance. Many Americans are in the same boat. Neither my son's or my employer offers insurance. I have suggested it numerous times and my employer tells me he cannot afford it. I see his books and I agree he can't afford insurance for his employees.

    60. Lori, So Cal says:

      Wow, this site is a scary place indeed. I'm not sure how I landed here but listen up for a second. Please don't use 'fear' to mask your obvious racist rhetoric. And what we put out for an unnecessary "war" in Iraq can pay for health care reform many times over. Get a clue people, are you even taking your meds or living in reality? And let me ask you, what have those billion dollar tax cuts for the WEALTHY done for ANY of you?

    61. Bill San Antonio says:

      Lori, So Cal,

      Take a look at what your elected idiots have done in Sacramento to the Great State of California.

      Now, you want us to model the USA from the progressive left coast or the progessive right coast, for that matter?

      How many 911's will it take before you idealists wake up and recognize we are in a life or death struggle against a vicious enemy whose only goal is our total destruction or submission?

      You have to look at the entire global struggle- and if enough Americans do not believe there is a global struggle-then we are all doomed.

    62. Lori, So Cal says:

      Bill of San Antonio, seems like you are pretty well informed, right? Then you must know that our actor/governor is a Republican? LOL But I do love the drama in your comment, a "life or death struggle" fictional, made up by the lying Bush administration. Are you stocking up on canned goods yet?….

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