At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, followed Benjamin Franklin from Independence Hall. He recorded a question asked by a lady, directed at Dr. Franklin.

The lady asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied Dr. Franklin, "if you can keep it."

IN DEFENSE OF MINORITIES!

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Health Care Issue - once more

Canadian Pragmatist challenged a previous posting and so I'm going to take this 47 million uninsured American's issue and break it down with sources included. It's always good to be challenged. This Obama claim has been debunked elsewhere. I'm simply reviewing it here. There are many sources out here, CLICK HERE for one of those cited.

President Barack Obama claims there are 47 million Americans without health insurance. A simple check with the U.S. Census Bureau would have told him otherwise.
The President said: “This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance.” That assertion conflicts with data in the Census Bureau report “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007.” The report was issued in August 2008 and contains the most up-to-date official data on the number of uninsured in the U.S. The report discloses that there were 45.65 million people in the U.S. who did not have health insurance in 2007.

So we're down to 45.6 million.

The report also reveals that there were 9.73 million foreigners — foreign-born non-citizens who were in the country in 2007 — included in that number.

So the number of uninsured Americans was actually 35.92 million.

And of those, 9.1 million people making more than $75,000 per year did not choose to purchase health insurance. That brings the number of Americans who lack health insurance presumably for financial reasons down...

...to less than 27 million.

The Census Bureau report also shows that the number of people without insurance actually went down in 2007 compared to the previous year — from 47 million to 45.65 million — while the number with insurance rose from 249.8 million to 253.4 million.

The Census Bureau data is misleading. The Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) is a misleading measure of those who lack health insurance in America and an imprecise tool for analyzing the dimensions of the problem. Analysis of data from earlier Census Bureau and other government reports shows that roughly 7 million are illegal immigrants; roughly 9 million are persons on Medicaid; 3.5 million are persons already eligible for government health programs; and approximately 20 million have, or live, in families with incomes greater than twice the federal poverty level, or $41,300 for a family of four.

Most of the uninsured are in and out of health coverage. The professional literature also shows that, overwhelmingly, the vast majority of the uninsured are persons who are in and out of coverage, largely as a result of job changes.

Therefore, only a small number of the uninsured are chronically uninsured.

For most of the uninsured, the problem is fixable if policymakers simply take steps to make health insurance portable, so the insurance policy sticks to the person, not the job. A substantial portion of uninsured Americans are not poor but rather middle-class working Americans who are forced to face a major tax penalty, resulting in premium increases of 40 to 50 percent, if they do not obtain health insurance through the place of work.

For millions of Americans without job based health insurance, both the tax policy, and the excessive regulatory burden on health insurance in the states, prices families out of coverage.

The continually morphing healthcare bill is not about providing healthcare to Americans who are caught in the lurch. It's about controlling our lives more completely. As the political cartoon that captions this article suggests, the impetus for medical research will be all but destroyed under the current philosophy of change.

7 comments:

Opus #6 said...

The continually morphing healthcare bill is not about providing healthcare to Americans who are caught in the lurch. It's about controlling our lives more completely. As the political cartoon that captions this article suggests, the impetus for medical research will be all but destroyed under the current philosophy of change.

This is precisely why I object to Obama's plan. It throws out all that is good about American health care. There is no reason to do that, unless your aim is something other than improving things for American citizens.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

Well, I'd say that even foreigners in the US deserve to be cared for to some minimum respect, but we can agree to disagree on that. The 9.1 mill who "choose" not to get coverage did so because they're greedy, and a little bit wreckless, not because they're super healthy and they are little super-men and women. They're willing to take a big risk, they should be allowed to, but saving their money should not be the biggest motive which I can almost guarantee it is.

You don't think if people who are self-employeed could get a decent coverage at a decent price they wouldn't take it? The gov't option should be available to them, but if they still don't want it (though I predict the vast majority will take it) they still don't. They just have that much more choice because health care will be less expensive.

The initial skimming of 47 mill to 45.6 mill is a statistical deviation. It has been shown to have risen around 5% since 2005 and shows no sign of dropping (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/567737). While it may have dropped 1.4 million in the last little while, you've gotta go with the larger trend and not the deviation.

Also, aside from providing coverage to more people - which even by your somewhat questionable and by my standard illigitimate skimming of the numbers is still 27 mill too few people insured - lowering health care costs by getting rid of the private tyranny of admin. fees and what not will still be good for employeers and individuals alike.

Employeers won't have to spend as much to cover their workers. So, sooner or later all employeers will offer a health plan because every potential employee (with a brain) won't take a job that doesn't have one...

The private sector currently controls this part of your life, Opus. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer a fat lazy bureaucrat to a downright evil CEO any day.

"controlling people's lives." Actually the private sector is controlling people's lives by jacking up rates and premiums whenever it feels like and not offering coverageto people with preexisting conditions.

If you want to talk about choice, how about people who have to choose between food and health insurance (which is still a substantial number of people, by mine or LL's standards). Do they really have a choice?

LL said...

At this phase of my life, I'm a self employed person who pays for his own/his family's health insurance. I select from among many plans, pick and choose the coverage I want and pay for it. The private sector doesn't control my life. It provides options which I can take or decide not to take. If somebody jacks up a premium, I change coverage. If I want to pay less insurance and a higher co-pay for services I use, I can take that option.

Health insurance is NOT a right in the US.

Health insurance IS a right in Canada. But the service is such that if you need to be seen and treated NOW, you have to go to a private doctor and pay BIG MONEY out of pocket... or cross the border to the US. I know there are exceptions when you can walk in and be seen and treated but from the numerous accounts I've read, it's rare.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

My grandparent live in the US and come up to Canada for treatment. (they used to live in Canada.)

North to south is rare; south to north is not. The numerous accounts you've read are what are called propaganda. They are rare cases made to seem like the norm. Read the actual statistics. Reading case studies is no way to judge which conutry has it better.

Also, we have long waiting lists for ELECTIVE surgeries and procedures. My professor waited months for his new knee. Big deal. He didn't complain about it.

Granted, he is 62 years old and his job doesn't involved manual labour. So what about cops. They're bumped to the front of the waiting list for those types of procedures b/c we don't like paying them for the months they are off work injured.

Also, how would a public option restrict and not expand your choices? It would certainly expand the choice of poor employeed and unemployed Americans from null to one.

Also, I do think not having to die of a minor infection is a right - and therefore health care is a right. I think you and your gov't are wrong if you think differently.

Also, the private sector controls the price, it also controls when it wants to drop you, whether you qualify for coverage, etc... These all seem tyrannical to me, but maybe that's because I view it from a more humane, Canadian perspective.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

Also, I'm going to consider freedom (which I not only consider, but choose and wish to extend as far as possible) you should consider this:

http://continentalcritics.blogspot.com/2009/08/freedoms-clash.html

Canadian Pragmatist said...

I wrote a response to this. Did you not get it or are you not moderating it for some reason?

LL said...

I'm outside the US and have limited access to the Internet. Never fear, I don't moderate you off the screen, CP. Sometimes when I'm working I simply don't have time to screw around on the machine. But I'll get to it.

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