Monday, May 18, 2009

The Uninsured

Here are some interesting facts I dug up about our nation's uninsured (that is, those without health insurance):

  1. Over half of those that are uninsured are not eligible for public programs (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) but can't afford to purchase their own coverage.

  2. 1/4 of those that are uninsured are eligible for these programs but are not enrolled.

  3. 1/5 of those that are uninsured earn high enough incomes to afford coverage but have chosen not to.

(these numbers by the way came from a study done by the Urban Institute in 2006)

Okay, so group #3, I could honestly care less about. Well, that isn't what I meant. What I meant is if the people in group #3 have enough money to pay for insurance and don't, that is their problem. They should know better.

The people in group #2, I almost...almost feel the same way. A lot of people don't want to apply for help of any kind like welfare or food stamps or state medical because they are too proud to ask for help. That I can understand. However, in my opinion, this is being a bit irresponsible. If they qualify for a program like Medicaid, they should apply for it. There is no shame in having free medical care.

The problem with our health care system is with those in group #1. Half of the uninsured are poor but don't qualify for Medicare. With this information, I would think that probably the best way to rectify this situation is change the eligibility requirements for these programs and get the people that can't afford coverage on it. And you wouldn't necessarily have to make it free for all. There are state medical insurance programs where the person plays a small premium. I mean, it is state medical so it isn't the best thing to be on but it is better than nothing, isn't it?

Any thoughts?


  1. This is a real problem, yet our state legislators keep putting band aids on this.

    In Oklahoma, they are proud to pass a mandate lite policy. This is in hope that the uninsured will purchase a very cheap policy without benefits.

    Problem is that reviewing other states that have done this is that it will not lead to helping the uninsured. It does create a whole new group of people. It is called the underinsured.

    The vast majority of new subscribers to these types of policies are from full benefit to limited benefit plans. And most of them do not know this, this is a result of employers.


  2. Thanks for stopping by Wayne. I have another health care post I just finished.

  3. Thanks for sharing these statistics and findings. I really think that the half who are uninsured because they are poor but can't qualify should be focused on. The government keeps vowing to help those who need it most, but what about "group 1"?