More Information on the Uninsured

(This information was passed onto me by a reader and in checking it out I found that of those listed among the uninsured are those on Medicaid. Well these are the very poor, unemployed or unemployable and they are indeed covered if they are on Medicaid. So when you subtract the number of people on Medicaid the number of uninsured is considerable less than the figure often given. As for the rest of the information I also did some checking of the Census Bureau and could verify some but not all of the information before my patience ran out. Sorry.

And I know many of you do not want to read this information that is contrary to what you currently believe. I was where you are at one time too. So I know how passionately you feel about the inequities of life. Dear Lord how I know! But as I got more and more information my opinions changed. I DID NOT ACCEPT THIS NEW INFORMATION LIGHTLY. I CHECKED OUT EVERY LITTLE FACT. But eventually knowledge changed my views. I am sincerely not trying to force feed you into changing your views. Please believe this. I am just trying to help you to get more information about a subject you feel is important. AND YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO READ MY BLOG OR CREDIT ANY OF THE INFORMATION I GIVE. IT IS YOUR CHOICE TO MAKE. Brenda

I copied this entire article so you won’t have to go to the source given above to read it unless you want to. BB)


The Mission of the Manhattan Institute is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

What Health Insurance Crisis?
August 29, 2004
By David Gratzer
"Who and where are the 45 million Americans that the Census Bureau found without health insurance? With little fanfare last year, the BlueCross BlueShield Assn. released a report based in part on analyzing the Census Bureau data. Its findings may surprise some.

A full 16% of the uninsured, the study found, have incomes above $75,000 a year and could obviously afford insurance if they chose to buy it. Roughly a third of those lacking insurance earn $50,000 a year or more.

You may think that a poor single mom with three children living in South-Central Los Angeles is among the uninsured, but in fact, she is eligible for Medicaid, as are her children. The BlueCross BlueShield study notes that 1 in 3 of the uninsured are eligible for — but not enrolled in — a government-sponsored health program. Because Medicaid and children's health programs allow patients to be signed up literally in the ER, these individuals could be covered; they just choose not to do the paperwork.

And of the remaining uninsured, 6 million lack insurance for only a few months.

The bottom line: About 8.2 million Americans, not 45 million, are chronically uninsured and low-income. And they are the working poor. They have jobs but, because of the high cost of insurance, no coverage.

In some ways, of course, even they are covered. In the event of a disaster, they can find care in emergency rooms . They are thus covered for their heart attacks, car accidents and strokes. For the most part, the care will be excellent and very likely free; the expenses are written off or, perhaps, buried in the bills of those with insurance. But when it comes to more routine care — basic primary and preventive care — too many go without. It's these individuals that need the chronically uninsured often have no choice.

Why? Insurance is expensive. For middle-class Americans, though, paying a few thousand dollars a year for a simple plan isn't an obstacle. But what of the minimum-wage earner? Yet rather than working to ensure less expensive insurance, state governments have done the opposite. "Iatrogenic" is the term doctors use to describe a simple phenomenon — when the medical profession causes the patient's problem. What do we make of politicians whose policies end up hurting the very people they are aimed at helping?

That is exactly what politicians did in the 1990s. In an attempt to make health insurance more equitable and fair, regulation after regulation was added to the books. Many states now dictate what health insurance must cover (including pastoral counseling in Vermont), who must be covered and at what price. In New Jersey, according to the Coalition Against Guaranteed Issue, it now costs more to purchase a family health policy than to lease a Ferrari. That millions of people lack insurance isn't surprising: Millions of Americans would lack clothes too, if governments insisted that we shop only at Saks.

What, then, to do about the uninsured? Both the president and his Democratic challenger have ideas — and both miss the point. President Bush wants to give every uninsured person a tax credit for $1,000 to help with the cost of coverage. The plan offers too much help to those who don't need it and does too little for the working poor. Sen. John F. Kerry has an expensive and complex plan that ultimately will create even more regulations and government control.

State regulations have crippled insurance choices and driven up the cost of coverage in many jurisdictions. Washington can address this by allowing people the option of buying insurance from insurers that are registered in states other than the one in which they live. By shopping around, uninsured Americans could find a low-regulation (and thus low-cost) state in which to buy coverage.

Second, make smarter use of the money already spent on the uninsured. According to a recent study published in Health Affairs, the government spends almost $35 billion a year providing care to those lacking coverage. Because these programs primarily fund emergency care provided by hospitals rather than insurance, they end up serving hospitals' interests more than patient health.

Here's an alternative: Washington should offer states block funding (using welfare reform as a model) and allow them to experiment with coverage options. Some states would spend the money on the people who need it most: the chronically uninsured. By not focusing on the higher-income uninsured, or those eligible for government insurance, a state-created voucher program could potentially offer thousands of dollars per person for coverage — enough to buy insurance in any state in the nation.

There are, of course, numerous issues to work out, but this much is clear: A small number of Americans are in need, and a large amount is already spent."

David Gratzer, a physician, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
©2004 Los Angeles Times
About David Gratzer: articles, bio, and photo


Sorry -

But a perusal of the Manhattan Institute tells me they are not the people I want making decisions for health care.

Talking points.

I know a neighbor who is self-employed, earns over $50,000 a year and doesn't have insurance. The reason? He has a preexisting condition, so the insurance companies want to charge him $3,000 a MONTH for insurance. Just for him, for lousy, high-deductible insurance. So, he has "faith-based" insurance, praying he doesn't get ill.

Brenda neglects to explain why it is that 50% of bankruptcies are due to health care costs, and that 75% of those who go bankrupt are health insured at the time they become ill or injured. Doesn't fit into her crazy "IT'S ALL MEDICARE'S FAULT" rant for the free market.

Nor, would she want to face this statistic.

In many ways, the uninsured are a microcosm of the state’s
population. They include workers and the unemployed;
wealthy and low-income individuals; men, women, and
children of all races, ethnicities, and ages. However, the
two groups most likely to lack coverage are those who have a
connection to a small business with fewer than 25 employees
and low-income individuals with incomes below 200% of the
federal poverty guidelines (FPG). More than four fifths (83%)
of the uninsured fall into one of these two groups.

While it is true that most uninsured children are eligible for Medicaid and S-CHIP, the same is not true of adults, until they drive their family into breaking debt.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

And God Help You if You Have Tricare

We are poor enough to qualify but because my son has Tricare he cannot get SChip.

So so much for that 'dual' coverage crap.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

The free market has all the solutions, doesn't it? If only we would take away all the govenment regulations on the insurance industry, free market competition would make insurance available for all. Right. Ok, you didn't say for "all" you said all except a very few. Still not gonna happen.

So one-third of the uninsured make $50,000 or more. One of the posters on your last thread gave a breakdown demonstrating the realities of trying to buy insurance on that income, did you read that?

Your free market analysis completely leaves out the underinsured. In order to get the premiums down, many insurance policies have unrealistically high deductibles. People stuck with that might as well be uninsured as far as routine health care is concerned.

You keep trying to give the impression that our generation, my generation, made a lot of mistakes when we were young and idealistic, and you are trying to prevent the next generation from making those same mistakes. I call bullshit. You have made misstatements about Social Security, Medicare, and Tricare. Fully half of your "diary" entries on BlueNC consist of crap I have seen in my inbox repeatedly over the last several years. Maybe you think nobody else here gets forwards from right-wing friends and relatives?

We are already spending enough money on health care nationally to pay for universal health care. We are just not getting it. It's time we did.

chartreuse dog, Sorry but

chartreuse dog, Sorry but your generation WAS/IS my generation too. i AM 66 YEARS OLD. And as for being young and idealistic, I was a hotheaded yelling marcher for the underdog and the minorities and the poor. I was cussed, jailed, spit on and reviled. And, I learned the hard way that our gneration made bad mistakes. I was one who demanded the mentally disabled be turned loose from the prison-like assylums because they were people and not animals or criminals. Well, the state was ever so happy to turn them loose because it is cheaper to send them a check each month than to keep them in a shelter with a bed and three meals a day. Now those mentally disabled are free as birds and like birds they are our homeless out on the streets. Free to be robbed, beaten, molested and killed rather than in those prisonlike asylums. Very bad mistakes in our idealism and lack of understanding of the greed and politics and meanness in this world. You don't have to believe anything I say. You are intelligent so look up the facts for yourself. Not from some idealogical site but from the factual records, census bureau stats and other sources of legitimate information. As I said above I checked out the facts in the above article with the census bureau and found the ones I checked out to be true. I got tired of reading documents before I checked them all.

As for our country paying more for health care than any other country that is true. We do because our costs are so high. Double digit inflation for 40 years. Compare the inflation rate of healthcare before 1965 and the inflation rate of health care after. Why the difference? What factor changed?

And consider if we are paying so much for health care for just the elderly and those on Medicaid just how much at todays inflated prices would we pay for everyones healthcare? It is too late to go back and make health care costs less than they are. So we have to start with the prices as they are. In other countries the doctors and hospitals don't charge what our ridiculous prices are. Drugs are four times higher in the US than in Mexico or Canada.

Please, please, search Federal Budget 2007 and see for yourself how much is being spend for Medicare/Medicaid (28%) of the whole federal budget, then look at Social Security which is the highest chuck of change in the federal budget. You are an intelligent person. See for yourself and then please tell me how we can pay for what you want. And don't tell me about the war because all the money spent on every war since 1900 would not pay for one year of Universal health care.



Apparently you have not read

any of my comments on your previous blog entries on here. I thought the purpose of BlueNC was to have discussions among people, not for one person to post and everybody who disagrees to be told not to read her posts.

I believe I have answered every one of your points above, recently, here on BlueNC.

You have not answered all of

You have not answered all of my "facts" to my satisfaction apparently anymore than I have answered yours. I have tried to check out your “facts” for accuracy with the census bureau and other governmental departments and have been unable to. Whereas, I have begged you to check my facts. Starting with the 2007 Federal Budget and then explaining just where the money for Universal Health Care is going to come from. I am sure you know what a budget is. You either have the money for what you want or you don’t. Then if you want it bad enough you give something up to get it. What would you give up? I have suggested several times what we should and could give up in order to cover the health care of the poor. You have just called me a liar.

I suggested you did not have to read my blog when you started your comment to me " lies, damned lies and statistics”. Or those who call me a troll. I will gladly discuss the problem with anyone but to those who denigrate me I just simply invited you to not bother to waste your time. That’s all. I tried to be polite. No one should waste their time doing something that upsets them.


Two-thirds plus two-thirds equals single-payer healthcare.

Brenda, I am beginning to think you work as a plant for Blue Cross Blue Shield. So, I'm going to say this one more time, then ignore you from here on out.

  1. Our nation spends more per capita than any other nation with similar wait times to the United States, those with national health care plans spend 2/3 of what we spend.
  2. Two-thirds of our current spending on health care comes from public funding, taxes and subsidies.
  3. Ergo, we already PAY enough in taxes and subsidies to have single-payer for everyone in the United States.
  4. That doesn't take into account the HUGE savings we will have in overhead due to a single-payer system.
  5. That also doesn't take into account the savings we will have in a single-payer system that actually insures WELL people, because right now it is only used to insure the MOST NEEDY, who are dropped from your wonderful, imaginary, free-market insurance at the first sign of illness.
  6. 75% of people who go bankrupt from health care related bills were INSURED when they first became ill or injured. That is how your wonderful, imaginary, free-market system works so well, they spend billions of dollars figuring out how NOT to insure the sick that might cost them money, and dump them into the public system.
  7. What happened in 1965, happened in 1965, and I'm glad that our country is not full of people such as yourself that give up on good ideas just because they failed ONCE. If we followed your lead, women would not have the vote, African-Americans would still be 5/6th of a person, and child labor would still be alive and well.

You are obviously in the wrong place to spout your right-wing talking points, and I kindly invite you to visit Ogre or some other cesspool that would welcome your "free-trade" arguments.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.