Thursday, May 14, 2009

46 million Americans cannot afford health insurance?

That’s what many people, and especially Europeans, have heard, and still believe. But, notes Sally Pipes ( The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen’s Guide, Pacific Research Insitute, 2008, quoted by Robert Goldger in The American, May 11), of those 46 million uninsured, 10 million make more than $ 75.000 a year and almost 18 million make more than $ 50.000 a year.

That means 36 percent of the uninsured likely make enough to afford health insurance but choose not to buy it.

An additional 14 million are fully eligible for government assistance, tax-funded coverage programs like Medicare and Medicaid, but also choose not to enroll.

Why should we think then that the 18 million make the wrong choice, and why should an additional bureaucratic program improve the lot of the 14 million who can already enroll for free in government assistance insurance but choose not to?

This count should leave the new administration with a target of 14 million people to which some new coverage would be useful, not 46 million. And some more reflexion is required about the reasons why eligible people do not enroll in available government programs.

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