September 27, 2011

CHUCK SIMMINS LOOKS AT POVERTY AND HEALTH INSURANCE:

Is a lack of health insurance in America a problem? According to Washington, it is. The Census Bureau has released the 2010 report on poverty in America. Table 8 on page 26 covers some of the data on those without health insurance. Here’s what caught my eye. . . .

792,000 people over age 65 have no insurance. Why not? Medicare is designed for that age group.

16.2 million people earning less than $25,000 per year have no health insurance. Why not? Medicaid is designed for low income folks. 28.5 percent of those uninsured did not work at least one week in 2010, again the people Medicaid was designed for.

2.6 million calling themselves “disabled” have no insurance. Why not? Both Medicare and Medicaid are available to those folks.

Table 10 on page 29 shows the breakdown by type of plan. 14.5% of Americans were on Medicare and 15.9% on Medicaid.

9.5 million people earn $75,000 a year or more and have no health insurance. It’s just an assumption, but shouldn’t many of those people be able to afford coverage IF THEY WANT IT?

49,904,000
less non-citizens 9,667,000
less half of those eligible for Medis 8,479,000
less top earners 9,473,000
= 22,285,000

Over half of those that the Census Bureau reports as without health insurance coverage are eligible for coverage and don’t have it or don’t want it, or are non-citizens. Do we have a health insurance coverage problem in America?

If we do, it’s a lot smaller than advertised.