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Checking the ObamaCare Math

Many of the numbers being used in the push for health care reform are clearly inaccurate. (Also read Roger L. Simon: Dean of Harvard Medical School Destroys ObamaCare)

by
Jeffrey H. Anderson

Bio

November 18, 2009 - 12:00 am
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The health care debate has largely been a battle of numbers, and the most widely cited one — 46 million uninsured — isn’t even accurate.

According to the census, the real number of uninsured Americans is 28 million: 46 million, minus nine million non-citizens, minus nine million people on Medicaid who were falsely tallied as uninsured.

But that hasn’t kept the Congressional Budget Office from using a figure of 50 million uninsured. By all accounts, the CBO is getting its number from the census while failing to adjust for the census’ admitted Medicaid undercount (while apparently adding four million because of the recession). By inflating the number of uninsured by about 20 percent, the CBO is significantly overstating the magnitude of the problem and is aiding the Democrats in their push to dramatically increase government’s power and control over our health care system.

But these are by no means the only interesting numbers in the health care debate. Here are some others:

17: The percentage of the United States gross domestic product (GDP) that’s currently being spent on health care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

21: The percentage of U.S. GDP that would be spent on health care in 2019 under the House health bill, according to CMS.

3.4:  The percentage increase in U.S. health care spending in 2019 under the House health bill’s coverage provisions (in relation to projections under current law), according to CMS.

60 billion: The number of American tax dollars that Medicare loses each year to fraud, according to 60 Minutes and the Washington Post.

8.3 billion: The combined profits last year, in dollars, of America’s ten largest private health insurance companies, according to Fortune 500.

830 billion: The combined profits, in dollars, that America’s ten largest private health insurance companies would make — at the rate of last year’s profits — over 100 years, according to Fortune 500.

1.009 trillion: The costs, in dollars, of the Senate Finance Committee health bill in the seven-year span from 2014 to 2020, according to the CBO.

90: The percentage of Americans who already have health insurance, according to the census.

95: The percentage of Americans who either have health insurance or make more money than most Americans, according to the census.

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