How many uninsured in the US?

posted at 6:25 pm on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Exactly a month ago, Michael Ramirez presented this data in an excellent editorial cartoon, but the news media didn’t pay attention.  AEI covered the same ground in its August 2008 edition of The American, and the national media still hasn’t caught up.  Unfortunately, they will probably not pay much attention to Jazz Shaw, Cato Institute, or Hot Air and Ed Morrissey either when we point out that the number of uninsured Americans is dramatically lower than the 47 million figure bandied about in the debate.

Do you think they’d listen to the Census Bureau?  Jazz writes:

Next, we need to go back to the Census Bureau report and turn to page 31 where we are informed that their total number includes the category of those who are listed as “non-citizens” (which are carefully broken out from naturalized citizens vs. native born citizens.) The non-citizen rate of uninsured individuals clocked in at 43.8%, or roughly 9.4 million non-Americans. Since these people are not here legally and not paying into the system, that portion of the crisis is better addressed in a debate on immigration issues, but taxpaying Americans don’t need to be on the hook for that segment of the total.

While the number continues to drop, it’s also worth noting that we’re not talking exclusively about the abject poor who can’t afford insurance. As this Business and Media report informs us, that same Census Bureau summary includes the following:

But according to the same Census report, there are 8.3 million uninsured people who make between $50,000 and $74,999 per year and 8.74 million who make more than $75,000 a year. That’s roughly 17 million people who ought to be able to “afford” health insurance because they make substantially more than the median household income of $46,326.

Once you do some fairly basic math, you come up with the same figure that the Kaiser Family Foundation arrived at.

The liberal Kaiser Family Foundation puts the number of uninsured Americans who don’t qualify for government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 8.2 million and 13.9 million.

Assuming we bought individual health insurance plans for each of these people at $300 per month, a cost that having a 14-million-member pool should allow.  We could insure them for $50.4 billion a year.  That would not be a very good solution for a number of reasons, but it costs  a lot less than the $2 trillion over ten years that the CBO estimates ObamaCare will cost, plus it avoids the entire issue of overhauling a system most of us like.  In fact, if the idea is to save money through ObamaCare, then this should be the baseline: any plan Congress creates should cost less than the $50.4 billion a year it would cost to simply buy insurance for everyone who can’t afford it.

Besides, as the Census Bureau admits, its own numbers of uninsured may be inflated (page 67):

National surveys and health insurance coverage

Health insurance coverage is likely to be underreported on the Current Population Survey (CPS). While underreporting affects most, if not all, surveys, underreporting of health insurance coverage in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) appears to be a larger problem than in other national surveys that ask about insurance. Some reasons for the disparity may include the fact that income, not health insurance, is the main focus of the ASEC questionnaire. In addition, the ASEC collects health insurance information by asking in February through April about the previous year’s coverage… Compared with other national surveys, the CPS estimate of the number of people without health insurance more closely approximates the number of people who are uninsured at a specific point in time during the year than the number of people uninsured for the entire year.

It’s not 47 million.  It’s not 36 million.  The number of Americans uninsured out of necessity and not economic choice is at most 14 million.  Understanding that will bring a much more balanced approach to health-care reform on a scale commensurate with the problem, rather than a hysterical rush to throw out a system that works for hundreds of millions Americans.


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Well then make sure your insurance contract specifies it won’t drop you if you get sick.

See? That was easy.

darwin on August 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

I’ve never seen a health insurance policy without a maximum payout figure. It’s usually high, but a million bucks can go quickly if you have a serious illness.

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:27 PM

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Ask to see it. I used to have a street plan that maxed out at 3 mil for cancer coverage. But, it was affordable and it turns out I didn’t need it before I was able to get better coverage.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM

You are arguing a really pathetic straw man. Insurance can only drop you once you get sick if you bought the policy through fraud – i.e., not disclosing a pre-existing illness.

there is no crisis of people being dropped b/c they get sick.

Monkeytoe on August 24, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Once you reach your annual maximum they pay $0 for anything for the rest of the year. Once you reach your lifetime maximum you’re dropped. So yes, it’s entirely possible to disclose everything and still be dropped because you got sick. Happens all the time.

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM

It’s not 47 million. It’s not 36 million. The number of Americans uninsured out of necessity and not economic choice is at most 14 million. Understanding that will bring a much more balanced approach to health-care reform on a scale commensurate with the problem, rather than a hysterical rush to throw out a system that works for hundreds of millions Americans.

I’ve been writing this for a while now, here and elsewhere.

AND, who it is who Obama’s actually referring to are these groups (not “Americans” not all, anyway):

– union retirees at 55
– illegal aliens

THOSE are the two groups of PEOPLE that are driving Obama’s “emergency” statements. Not that illegal aliens are not “Americans”, not in the sense that Obama is referring to Americans (U.S. citizens or so he wants the public to think he’s referring to), so this is likely yet another one of Obama’s preposterously deceptive “term rephrasements” or whatever the heck he calls ‘lying’ nowadays.

Lourdes on August 24, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Why should I be forced to pay for firemen when I’m very careful to not cause a fire?

Because putting out fires is a public service, one that comes in handy to you, even if the fire isn’t your fault, because (as people may have noticed in California) a fire doesn’t always stay confined only to its place of origin.

But then, you wouldn’t get much argument from me for a privatized firehouse.

I’ve yet to see the government beat a private organization without unfair competition. The only things I think a government is good for are governing (our three branches) and securing our safety, but even then I could see a private military with better funding working just as well if not better.

I don’t have kids but I still pay for schools.

Or even worse, you do have kids but have decided you’d rather the government didn’t educate them. That means you’re paying for your children’s education twice. How is that fair?

I agree.

That doesn’t mean we should have government pay for it all, but the current system is broken.

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:21 PM

I didn’t disagree with you there. My disagreement was that the government should pay (and when we say “government” we really mean taxpayers).

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:31 PM

I agree for the most part. But, what happens if my wife looses her job through no fault of her own and I can’t get insurance to cover my currently existing condition? I had insurance to cover it but, through no fault of our own it was lost. What then?

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:27 PM

That’s why it’s ridiculous to have health insurance tied to jobs in the first place.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Unfortunately, they will probably not pay much attention to Jazz Shaw, Cato Institute, or Hot Air and Ed Morrissey either when we point out that the number of uninsured Americans is dramatically lower than the 47 million figure bandied about in the debate.

Maybe not, but you never know. Keep hammering on this, Ed. This is certainly the most important point to be made in the entire healthcare debate. The relatively small number of those unfortunates who are truly without insurance for the long term cannot justify turning the entire system topsy-turvy.

Owen Glendower on August 24, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Unfortunately Darwin, I hate to admit it, but Jonkee and your statements are both right to a certain extent in my experience. I hope neither of you ever get diagnosed with a chronic illness.

I am one of those uninsured with a pre-existing condition who makes too much money to qualify for any sort of subsidized medical care. I live in the great liberal blue sea of California, where my health insurance choices are extremely limited. I can get insurance, but it is “high risk” insurance. I pay through the nose with $500 monthly premimums and a $10,000 deductable annually. After the deducatable is met my services are covered 80/20 or 60/40 depending on the procedure and only medical…no prescription coverage,no dental coverage, no eye coverage as that is extra. Oh, and my policy would cap out at a $1M limit for total payments. So, I get a whole lot of nothing for an empty wallet. I’d rather drive down the street and throw my money out the window than sign up for that kind of insurance plan.

That said, I’d never buy into a public option either cause it would be the same crap — different outhouse. Social Security, VA and other government run options like Native Care are garbage — ObamaCare offers more of the same. I’d like to see open competition across state lines, no limits with premimums based on risk and income level (like auto insurance), and tax rebates for the self-employed. All through PRIVATE companies with third party payer boards for oversight. Throw in state run clinics for urgent care with doctors getting malpractice reduction rates for volunteer service and we’d have a good start on reform.

Keep the bureaucrats out of health care and maybe the free market could run as it is intended.

wordsmithy2009 on August 24, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Instead of subsidizing insurance companies why don’t we allow people to write off 100% that they give to medical charities? Do that for companies, too. Its amazing how much people and companies will give if it will lower their tax burden, overall. The current system is rigged with subsidies that are favorable to insurance companies but not to charities that seek to take care of the sick and needy.

Of course we could also do some tort reform, as was done in Texas… but that would go against the lawyer special interest and we couldn’t do that, could we?

We could move off of the insurance model and go towards an investment one, in which you can pay for treatments that you are liable to get based on family history years or decades ahead of time. Give heart disease a 20 year date for a triple bypass and just what is the cost of that triple bypass 20 or 30 years before you need it with guaranteed coverage for the procedure? If you need a different procedure, sooner, you could trade your investment either for cash or to someone who has the procedure you need and would like to trade for yours. This allows you to invest in what will most likely ail you based on family history. Plus if a treatment is discovered that will obviate that procedure, you can change your investment to the NEXT most likely thing you might need that is a big ticket item.

Or just get catastrophic insurance or accidental death and dismemberment insurance when you are young and that is cheap.

How about the MSAs? Let them roll-over with investments so that they are tax-free when used for medical care and can grow over time, just like an IRA. Put in a proviso for companies to be able to directly invest into an account and make that a tax-free contribution that the employee can only use for medical services, but can invest as they wish.

The government is the least creative, most bureaucratic and horrifically inefficient institution to do this work. Charities have extremely low overhead, yet can’t match the spiraling cost due to the inflators from subsidizing insurance and expensive medical malpractice suits. Instead of handing it to bureaucrats, whey not level the playing field, give incentives to individuals to invest in their future and to contribute to the poor and needy by REWARDING such behavior?

Making a bad system larger does not make it magically better or more ‘equal’… and if it is results you want, then look to those that can provide them, NOW, and seek ways to ensure that they can expand their services in the future by rewarding them for providing good and efficient services.

That does require government getting out of the way, however, and to act as a referee so that there is a sane system of malpractice suits and that rewards behavior that builds society and social institutions… not sap the money away into the overhead that comes with government.

Yes, there will be people who don’t do wise things: this is what liberty is about. The way to build society is to allow the citizenry to do the best it can for each other while government protects it from little things like invasions, and does a few things like enforcing the laws in an equitable manner. You cannot regulate man to perfection or even good manners. We can no longer afford more government and need less of it so we can take care of each other… so that we don’t lose critical liberty for fleeting security and soon find ourselves without the liberty and our lives controlled by government. That is neither cost effective nor wise.

ajacksonian on August 24, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Keep the bureaucrats out of health care and maybe the free market could run as it is intended.

wordsmithy2009 on August 24, 2009 at 7:36 PM

What a dream.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM

I don’t fully agree with your statement. Because I’m insured through my wife’s employer I have gotten excellent care with little out of pocket expenses. They pay 100% for most of my very expensive treatments. I’m only screwed if she looses her job and I have to find a street plan. There are other places she could go to work and we could get coverage reguardless of pre-existing conditions. In fact when she went to work where she is now she was pregnant. They covered everything. Cost us $125.00 out of pocket for a c-section and a single $15 co-pay for all of her pre-natal appointments. Are there downsides to employer coverage. Yes but, there are also downsides to street plans. I was speaking with my life insurance agent a few weeks ago who also offers health insurance. She told me there isn’t a street plan available in this state that will cover like what my wife’s employer offers. Why would I want to downgrade?

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM

I dare say I am one of the 8.74 million that makes more than $74k a year and doesn’t have insurance. I am the only one of my family of 6 (soon to be 7) that doesn’t have insurance. And honestly I don’t need it. I am in my mid-30s and don’t get sick (flu and the like), don’t smoke, don’t do risky stuff and rarely consumes adult beverages.

I am more worried about my older girls getting braces, my 2 /12 yo twins growing healthy out of the “terrible twos” and the soon-to-be LAST CHILD WE WILL HAVE, REALLY to be born as healthy as possible (and mom to be healthy as possible this last pregnancy too).

Unless I get hit by a buss or a meteor strikes northwest Austin I am gonna live for a long time yet.

Neo on August 24, 2009 at 7:02 PM

I have to say that you should get insurance. I was only 31 when I was diagnosed with two very serious conditiions (I, too, thought I was invincible). You never know what will happen tomorrow and it’s better to be prepared than get caught flat-footed, especially since you have a family.

txag92 on August 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM

txag92 on August 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Agreed. I’m only 32 and was recently diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Thank God for good insurance.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:41 PM

This health care bill is directed specifically towards those millions of illegals in my opinion.

darwin on August 24, 2009 at 6:44 PM

It’s a big part of it. LaRaza has already gone on record saying it’s illegal aliens (“undocumented immigrants” as they insist on calling them) who need healthcare most (and want it at our expense, of course). LaRaza has also demanded that there be no citizenship requirements in the HC bill (and the Dems have already obliged them). Obama and the Dems know the public would never support the creation of a massive new entitlement program for illegal aliens (which is what this healthcare bill will become if it passes), so they continue to lie about it.

How many times have we seen Dem politicians (and Obama himself) say that the bill will not cover illegals — even though they specifically wrote the bill so that it covers “all persons” living in the U.S. (not all citizens, or all citizens and legal residents), and specifically prohibits healthcare providers from requesting any kind of ID to verify eligibility before rendering services.

Obama and the Democrats continue to lie, and the MSM continues to cover for them.

AZCoyote on August 24, 2009 at 7:42 PM

You know, I dredged up something from my memory banks: Many years ago, I was in the insurance business. I remember one of my company reps telling me he had an acquaintance who could afford health insurance but, due to preexisting conditions, couldn’t obtain it.

Know what he did? He used the money he would have spent on insurance premiums and used it to buy gold instead. That became his health insurance policy.

I’m sure Obama-Joker would have hated the guy. Imagine, being self-reliant like that.

SagebrushPuppet on August 24, 2009 at 7:42 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKCWbq18bNk

Posted it before.
I think its worth a look. This isn’t new information, I think this film clip is a couple of years old, yet zero broadcasting of the statistics.
Why do you suppose that is?

Itchee Dryback on August 24, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Why would I want to downgrade?

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go through your employer, only that having health insurance specifically tied to your employer creates problems that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

If companies instead just gave your wife the money it would have spent on her insurance as income, then the two of you could then buy that plan on your own without letting work decisions affect your insurance coverage.

That some plans are only available through employers is a bit ridiculous and part of the problem I mean when I say that insurance shouldn’t be tied to employment.

I’m in a similar problem. My husband and I work at the same place, and it doesn’t offer health insurance. I’ve looked into buying our own, but all the plans I’ve seen look horrible and not at all worth what I’d be paying into them.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Agreed. I’m only 32 and was recently diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Thank God for good insurance.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:41 PM

I hate to hear people like neo who think nothing bad can happen. Unfortunately, things can go south in an instant, or in my case, with one phone call.

I sure hope that you are ok.

txag92 on August 24, 2009 at 7:47 PM

especially since you have a family.

txag92 on August 24, 2009 at 7:39 PM

I agree on that. When you have kids, it’s important to plan for the worst, even if you don’t expect it.

My mother was diagnosed with Hepatitis C when she was in her early 40s. Supposedly she’d had it for over 20 years and just didn’t realize it until she tried to give blood for the first and last time.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:48 PM

Is there a Census report that is more up to date? It seems these numbers are for 2007 (though the report was issued in Aug 2008).

I just want to make sure our numbers are up to date or else the Left will just dismiss this report.

Yakko77 on August 24, 2009 at 7:49 PM

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM

It doesn’t seem fair to say they were dropped as if the insurance company did something sneaky and nefarious. What happened is that they maxed out the benefits that they had paid for and were no longer eligible for anything else.

If I buy six chicken nuggets at Burger King, people would think I was silly for being upset that Burger King only gave me six nuggets. If I insure my home for $100,000 and the damage done is $150,000, no one blames the insurance company for not paying more.

If, through a lack of foresight or an effort to save money, someone gets a plan with less potential coverage than they end up needing, that is not because the insurance company is evil. It’s because the person didn’t buy the right amount of coverage.

JadeNYU on August 24, 2009 at 7:52 PM

..well if this is the case, why are all of the Democrats so hung up on puttign a very large single-palyer plan into place? Why, it’s almost as thought they would want cotnrol over all of us.

No! That can’t be true, can it? They would n’t do that, would they?

VoyskaPVO on August 24, 2009 at 7:54 PM

If I insure my home for $100,000 and the damage done is $150,000, no one blames the insurance company for not paying more.

JadeNYU on August 24, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Nor do we start a national dialog on helping those who can’t afford insurance for their homes.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:58 PM

but the point isn’t to cheaply insure the 14 million, it’s control, control, control. will some Republican other than Sarah Palin please start calling it what it is?!

cpr on August 24, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 7:44 PM

I see your point better now. It’s too bad employers couldn’t just pool together and offer a number of plans which the employee could choose from that private companies would of course offer. Then if they changed employers they could carry the plan over.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 8:07 PM

txag92 on August 24, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Doing fine. Ups and downs but, the bills are paid.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 8:09 PM

I see your point better now. It’s too bad employers couldn’t just pool together and offer a number of plans which the employee could choose from that private companies would of course offer. Then if they changed employers they could carry the plan over.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I love that idea. I really dislike not being able to continue your health insurance over to another company.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 8:10 PM

I’ve never seen a health insurance policy without a maximum payout figure. It’s usually high, but a million bucks can go quickly if you have a serious illness.

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Which is why I made sure my policy had a max of $5M. See, there’s that pesky responsibility and choice thing again.

angryed on August 24, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Esthier – a little friendly education – we have public fire departments, not private ones, because during our history many private fire departments set more fires than they put out and engaged in extortion. Did you know that Ben Franklin started the first fire department? There are a few things the government can do better such as police, utilities fire service, and the wageing of war.

To the gentleman who thought HIPPA was only protection of privacy, there are provisions for continuance of coverage of pre-existing conditionswith a new carrier, if you were previously insured with those conditions. Just don’t make me pay for your poor decisions on insurance.

If you don’t think there is a pervasive culture to scam insurance companies, just ask for the insurance carrier of the next illegal alien or young pop culturist that hits your car. Ask any store owner.

For medical help, go to your county health department. Contact your local AMA. Go to your bank. Use a credit card. Most of the people that belong to a church community eventually get helped by that community. However, you athiests are screwed. You don’t have a church community. But for children, try the shriners or St. Judes.There is help everywhere. Since you liberals don’t believe in charity (except to receive it) you probably don’t know where to find it.

Old Country Boy on August 24, 2009 at 8:26 PM

That Census was from 2007. To be fair you’d have to take the number of unemployed then vs now and add in most of those that have lost their jobs recently as their benefits have started to run out.

That would still put it less than the $47 million that the liberals are claiming though.

Benaiah on August 24, 2009 at 8:37 PM

How many uninsured in the US?posted at 6:25 pm on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Dear Ed,

Besides a government power grab, I believe Obama’s goal is to help stem the illegal free care drain by forcing our young, uninsured to purchase insurance. Unfortunately, however, more free health care will just attract more illegals. So, if under the current system we have 30 million of them, under Obama’s plan, rather quickly we’d probably have 70 million more.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 24, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Monkeytoe on August 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

I agree for the most part. But, what happens if my wife looses her job through no fault of her own and I can’t get insurance to cover my currently existing condition? I had insurance to cover it but, through no fault of our own it was lost. What then?

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 7:27 PM

You should have 18 months of Cobra coverage as I did to secure replacement coverage.

Katfish on August 24, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Old Country Boy, I take your education in the spirit it’s given but what does the law breaking of one private organization have to do with the running of another?

That early fire departments broke the law is meaningless. What’s to stop a government fire department from doing the same thing if the private fire department couldn’t be stopped? In fact, wouldn’t volunteer fire fighters be the most at risk for such lawless behavior, so that they might help line their own pockets doing a job that otherwise doesn’t pay?

As to our government police, I’d much sooner trust a private detective and a private body guard if my life depended on it, and I imagine you would as well.

The government has shown little initiative in solving utilities problems. California’s rolling blackouts were no laughing matter.

And as far as the military is concerned, it’s consistently underfunded. I don’t know that a private military would work better, but the governments’ handling of other industries has me wondering.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 8:47 PM

The Left doesn’t care about the real numbers. Sure, they’ll fake some numbers to sell it to the misinformed but we all know their healthcare plan has nothing to do with health or care.

Yakko77 on August 24, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Maybe that number refers to the many illegal immigrants that are not counted but show up to the ERs regularly.

nor on August 24, 2009 at 8:59 PM

seems like the numbers are just all wee wee’d up.

katablog.com on August 24, 2009 at 8:59 PM

I don’t understand why people are not bringing up HIPAA – if you are part of a group plan – you CANNOT be denied coverage – if you change jobs and have had coverage within the last 63 days – you CANNOT be denied coverage. If it has been longer than 63 days – coverage can be delayed – not denied and this is ONLY if you have had treatment of the pre-existing condition in the last 6 months. Also, it is illegal to rescind insurance coverage UNLESS you have lied. Most of the items being brought up in the ‘reform’ argument ONLY impact people that have individual coverage.

As far as lifetime caps, unfortunately like most things in life you get what you pay for. According to Kaiser less than 1% of policies have 1 million or less in lifetime caps, 22% have 2 million and most have 5 million or in the case of Kaiser and similar plans there is no lifetime cap.

According to the CBO – the true impact to persons that require individual coverage (which are the people that actually need reform) is 8% of 21-31 million Americans. We are completely re-writing our health insurance industry and it will benefit 1.6-2.4 million people………………

The entire ‘reform’ could be accomplished with an amendment to HIPAA – except the costs – which they are not really addressing anyway – and of course tort reform – which they are never going to address.

There is no crisis regarding the biggest portion of the uninsured – people that can afford and choose not to pay for insurance.

http://speakmymindblog.com/2009/08/11/obama-is-scaring-and-misleading-the-american-people/

sherryande on August 24, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Esthier – there is no incentive for public fire departments toextort or set fires, unlike private ones. As much as I dislike public options, I would be on well water if not for the low cost loans to start RWD#5 that serves me. I would have no fire protection if nog for Northeast rural Fire District (lthat I pay for) to provide some fire service.Those were cooperatives enabled, but not run, by the government.
Please do not take this personally, but my lifetime experience has shown that even mediocre police and sheriff departments are head and sholders better than rent-a-cops. And as far as waging war, I don’t think the ton ton macues, Afgani and Somali warlords are better than US, or most other, armed forces. To think that any randomly selected warrior is better than any randomly selected soldier is ignorance (and an insult). The U.S. Army would eat any militia’s breakfast if push came to shove. Don’t let your well found conservative idealism blind you to the real world.

If you want the government out of the public utility providing and regulating business, then I suggest you turn off your water, take your own garbage to the dump, dig yourself a shithouse in the back yard, buy your own generator and dig your own gas well. In your spare time, pull up the government provided concrete in the street outside your house and grow a garden (trucks are government regulated) so you don’t have to depend on them to bring you food.

Old Country Boy on August 24, 2009 at 9:10 PM

sherryande your HIPAA is correct, my HIPPA is not. I always misspell that.

Old Country Boy on August 24, 2009 at 9:13 PM

There’s some sloppiness in that post:

non-citizens does not equal illegals

Green card holders are non-citizens but are perfectly legal.

HakerA on August 24, 2009 at 9:57 PM

In 7 days my sons and I will cease to be uninsured. In about a month or so, my husband will join us.

I took a temp gig with no bennies on the promise I’d be made permanent. 6 months later, the promise turned out to be BS, but the school the job was helping us pay for was nursing school for my husband, who graduated last week. I am starting a new job tomorrow with the local school district, with full benefits. In a month or two, he should be able to get a nursing job–which also comes with benefits like health care. We are typical of many of the uninsured. If my husband were not in NURSING school, I would have gone with other options through the lean times.

Sekhmet on August 24, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Esthier – there is no incentive for public fire departments toextort or set fires, unlike private ones.

You’re talking about public departments; I’m talking about public firefighters. The same incentive that exists for a private fire department also exists for a public firefighter.

Those were cooperatives enabled, but not run, by the government.

And without a government monopoly, how do you know private companies wouldn’t fill the void?

but my lifetime experience has shown that even mediocre police and sheriff departments are head and sholders better than rent-a-cops.

I’m not taking anything personally. I hope my posts reflect that. But there is a huge difference between the job of a cop and the job of a so-called “rent-a-cop” making it very difficult to compare the two.

To think that any randomly selected warrior is better than any randomly selected soldier is ignorance (and an insult).

Who says I’ve said that?

The U.S. Army would eat any militia’s breakfast if push came to shove.

You don’t see any major differences between the two aside from the fact that one’s government and the other private? Really?

Volunteer clinics are always worse than well-funded hospitals too, even if both are private.

I’m saying, dollar for dollar, compare a private organization to a government one, and the government consistently loses. Give a private military the funds and the access to technology that our government military has, and there’s no reason to believe the private military would be any worse.

And don’t forget that the Founding Fathers led a militia against a government army to start this country.

Don’t let your well found conservative idealism blind you to the real world.

I appreciate the intent, but you honestly don’t know me. My opinions here are directly related to the time I’ve spent focusing specifically on the real world. It is completely possible for both of us to have well researched and well thought of ideas and still come to opposite conclusions.

If you want the government out of the public utility providing and regulating business, then I suggest you turn off your water, take your own garbage to the dump, dig yourself a shithouse in the back yard, buy your own generator and dig your own gas well.

Because the government has a monopoly on something doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. And of course, not all gas is owned or sold by the government.

In your spare time, pull up the government provided concrete in the street outside your house and grow a garden (trucks are government regulated) so you don’t have to depend on them to bring you food.

Old Country Boy on August 24, 2009 at 9:10 PM

It’s not legal for me to destroy government property.

Your suggestions are illogical. I don’t like it that the government has a monopoly on something and then should therefore remove myself from its benefits? I believe these things are worthwhile; that’s why I’d rather hand it over to the private sector. Also, I pay for those things with my tax dollars and often pay additional fees for them when I consume them.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 10:12 PM

jonknee

With pre-existing coverage limitations among others there are a lot of people who are simply uninsurable.

What is the number that have pre-existing illness that makes them uninsurable?

Could, without government single payer insurance, could insurance companies be required to pay into a catastrophic, pre-existing illness “pool”.

It should be clear by now that NO European type health care is going to pass.

Americans know OUR government is way to incompetent to run a system like that.

People can tout European type health all they want, it’s a non-starter and off target.

Do you honestly believe the people we have in government today, Pelosi, Frank, Reid can ACTUALLY run a health care system?

DSchoen on August 24, 2009 at 10:25 PM

To the gentleman who thought HIPPA was only protection of privacy, there are provisions for continuance of coverage of pre-existing conditionswith a new carrier, if you were previously insured with those conditions.
Old Country Boy on August 24, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Why isn’t the republican leadership hitting back with that?

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Katfish on August 24, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Yes, I would have the coverage if needed. My situation was hypothetical, at least the job loss part. With what old country boy said, tell me again why we need Uncle Sam to interfere?

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 10:29 PM

By the way, does that HIPPA thing allow companies to just jack the premium through the roof? I’m guessing they probably would.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 10:31 PM

Unfortunately, they will probably not pay much attention to Jazz Shaw, Cato Institute, or Hot Air and Ed Morrissey either

Of course not, Ed. They don’t have to. You see, you aren’t “credible”.

Here’s an example of how it works: Over at Reason, Treacher tried to educate someone by linking to one of your articles here. The response was a pathetic ad hominem:

Right. Hotair.com always come to mind whenever I think of credible investigative journalism.

Go back to Redstate.

See, no one has to bother to listen to your arguments; they just declare you irrelevant, stick their fingers in their ears and say “lalalalalala I can’t hear you lalalalalala”. Either that or they can use the Ransom Note Method to set up a straw man to knock down. It’s a Fielder’s Choice, really.

The Monster on August 24, 2009 at 10:40 PM

Barry and lib socialists slam their palms over their ears, and in one raucous chorus while this news is being RE-reported to them, chant the following at the top of their lungs;

LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALAAAALLLAALALALALALAL
LALALALALALALALALALALALLALALALALALALALALLALAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
WWWWEEEEEEEE DOOOOOONNNNNNNNT HEEEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRR YOOOOOUUU
LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALAL
ALALALALALALALALALALALALLALALALALALALALLALALALALALALALLALALAA

Spiritk9 on August 24, 2009 at 10:49 PM

The same incentive that exists for a private fire department also exists for a public firefighter.

And a public fire department.

It’s a bogus argument anyway. If we follow their logic, everything should be run by the government because at one time or another, someone in the private sector has behaved inappropriately.

xblade on August 24, 2009 at 11:07 PM

And a public fire department.

Well, I could see the argument that a public department wouldn’t need to set a quota for fires put out, because it isn’t paid per service rendered, whereas a private department might be. Though I’d see no reason to change the pay scale. A fire department isn’t helpful unless it’s available 24/7.

It’s a bogus argument anyway. If we follow their logic, everything should be run by the government because at one time or another, someone in the private sector has behaved inappropriately.

xblade on August 24, 2009 at 11:07 PM

Agreed. Besides, it’s not as though government enterprises have always behaved appropriately. And when a corrupt organization has the backing of the government, it’s far more dangerous.

Esthier on August 24, 2009 at 11:34 PM

How many are without Health Insurance is a biased question b/c Acorn Polled the data…..Oops, was I suppose to forget about that and move forward?

BigMike252 on August 24, 2009 at 11:51 PM

By the way, does that HIPPA thing allow companies to just jack the premium through the roof? I’m guessing they probably would.

boomer on August 24, 2009 at 10:31 PM

HIPAA does protect you from price gouging as well (again if you are part of a group policy) – you cannot be charged additional fees for pre-existing conditions, etc. – by law your fees are the same as the group.

How many times have you heard them trying to sell the “reform” and mention “portability” of your insurance? HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996………..they are trying to sell us protection that we already have and no one is bringing it up.

sherryande on August 25, 2009 at 12:13 AM

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996………..they are trying to sell us protection that we already have and no one is bringing it up.

It never ceases to amaze me how they want the government to have more power to fix something that was supposed to be fixed by their previous power grabs. If the last law didn’t do the job, or the one before that, or the one before that… what is it about this law that will make it work when all the others failed? Why is it that the more power government exercises over us, the more problems they find to blame on the free market?

The Monster on August 25, 2009 at 12:23 AM

Once you reach your annual maximum they pay $0 for anything for the rest of the year. Once you reach your lifetime maximum you’re dropped. So yes, it’s entirely possible to disclose everything and still be dropped because you got sick. Happens all the time.

jonknee on August 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Call the Waaaaahmbulance!!!!

If you’re dropped under these circumstances (had insurance, got sick, maxed out), you CAN get replacement insurance through your state’s “assigned risk pool”: check it out!!

My own brother got insurance this way for only $550/month (very affordable for him at the time), despite the fact that he had terminal brain cancer. If he had not been able to pay for this coverage, a variety of other lower cost alternatives would have been made available to him UNDER EXISTING LAW!!!

Thus your entire argument is a completely phony “straw man” argument.

landlines on August 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM

The relatively small number of lower-income uninsured in this country would be better addressed at the state level. I would have no problem with the Obama administration offering encouragement and incentives for states to tackle the problem, if they haven’t already.

Wisconsin, for example, has the BadgerCare program. It provides health insurance coverage to lower-income families, and it works quite well. Just this year, they opened the program for enrollment by lower-income singles (individuals). It would be interesting to see some reporting on how that expansion has been received, and how it differs from other state solutions.

blueguitarbob on August 25, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Jonknee:

Happens all the time

You said in reference to there being some kind of crisis of people reaching their maximum medical payouts and being dropped by insurance. Show me some stats that back up this claim. I have yet to see any that support the argument that there is some kind of crisis regarding this.

Again, your side’s (the left) numbers regarding how many are uninsured are found to be bogus (which we all knew from the get go – the left’s “facts” always turn out to be lies), and you suddenly pop in here w/ a new claim of crisis – this time regular folks being dropped from their insurance left and right for being sick.

it ain’t so. Stop looking for a rational to support your goal – socialized medicine and instead try and argue that socialized medicine will be more efficient and bring better care to everyone. The reason you never try to make that argument is b/c you know you can’t. therefore, you try to gin up various “crisis” to use as an excuse to implement socialized medicine.

If you stepped back and looked at this behavior, you might begin to question your political philosophy. Why is it that your side must always lie to try and get what it wants?

Monkeytoe on August 25, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Awake again. I admit the fire department case is a little different, but I didn’t bring it up. The fire company corrupeion was widespread and endemic. It was especially bad in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. I suspect it was a major problem all around. The government did not pass laws to ban private fire departments; the people just decided they couldn’t trust them anymore. There are books written based on this problem. Esthier, I shouldn’t have hit you like that, It was ungentlemanly. As far as public utilities go, they sort of fall under the “promote the general welfare” part of The Constitution, as I understand the founding fathers believed.

You are right about “trash pickup”. In my personal experience the private companies do it better and provide better service.

The continental state militias were useless during the revolution. They ALMOST always ran after the first shot from the British soldiers. In fact, that was so predictable, that the Continental Army used that to sucker in the British and win many exchanges. I don’t have to prove anything about warriors and soldiers. Soldiers are disciplined and depend on each other, warriora aren’t and don’t. I was a soldier. Any old soldier can tell you about warriors.

The other posters are right. Why are we talking about portability in our national arguement. HIPAA is there, it works. You can’t lose coverage because of pre-existing conditions, you can’t have the price jacked up. I suspect those who do let it lapse are so traumatized by the loss of the job, they don’t listen when HR explains it to them. EVERYBODY: make sure you get your HIPAA form when you are laid off or retire. Get an electronic copy (PDF) if possible. I’m not sure, but I think that even if you forget or didn’t listern then, the waiting period for pre-existing conditions can be truncated.

My Senator is Tom Coburn. I am disappointed that he hasn’t been hitting the airwaves with this information. I am remiss. I will write him. The rest of you contact your senators about HIPAA.

Old Country Boy on August 25, 2009 at 9:26 AM

HIPAA only applies in certain instances.

For instance, HIPAA (with respect to group plans):

Does not require that employers offer health coverage or offer coverage on any particular terms;

Does not guarantee that any conditions you now have (or have had in the past) are covered by your new employer’s health plan; and

Does not prohibit an employer from imposing a preexisting condition exclusion period if you have been treated for a condition during the past 6 months.

In addition, HIPAA (with respect to individual plans) has the following conditions:

You must have had at least 18 months of continuous creditable coverage without a gap of more than 63 days.

You must generally have been covered under a group health plan, a government health plan or church plan (or health insurance offered in connection with such plans, such as COBRA) during the most recent period of creditable coverage.

You must not be eligible for coverage under a group health plan (including a spouse’s plan), Medicare or Medicaid.

You must not have other health insurance; and

You must have elected and exhausted any option for continuation of coverage under COBRA (or a similar state law) that was available under your prior plan.

HIPAA does not limit the premiums individual health plans can charge. While your application for insurance won’t be rejected because of health problems, the premiums for individual coverage can be much higher than for group plans.

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Landlines, the monthly cost of family insurance in the high risk pool insurance in Texas is roughly $2000-$3500/month. Texas law requires the pool to be priced at twice the standard individual rate, which is adjusted for sex, age, location, etc. There are no cheaper alternatives that I can find with guaranteed coverage of all conditions if I lost my job. Looks like your brother may have been able to purchase coverage just for himself but the rest of his family were covered elsewhere.

Jimbo3 on August 25, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Last!!

Monkeytoe on August 25, 2009 at 4:08 PM

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