Are the uninsured really getting a free ride on medical care?

But suppose you are one of those workers who gets all your compensation in the form of taxable wages and has no health insurance. Then you are paying higher taxes than someone earning just as much as you are but getting part of his compensation in the form of tax-free health insurance.

My back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the typical uninsured worker is paying more than $1,000 in extra taxes precisely because he is uninsured. That’s right. The uninsured aren’t really getting free rides after all. They’re mainly paying their own way! And if they are above-average income, they are paying their own way by a good margin.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The uninsured may be paying more taxes to the government, but you’re paying for their health care. Their unpaid bills make your hospital bill higher than it would have been.

That may seem logical, but it turns out to be mostly wrong.