253.4 Million Americans HAVE Health Insurance

We keep hearing about the 45 million Americans without healthcare. First of all, that is incorrect; just because someone does not have health insurance does not mean they do not receive healthcare. They do. It’s not ideal, it’s expensive, but they do go to the emergency room and they are not denied care. Second, that figure comes from the 2007 U. S. Census data and as many others have pointed out includes illegal immigrants (9.7 million is the estimate), people who can afford it but decide not to buy insurance (9.1 million of whom make $75,000 a year or more!), people who are young (the so-called “immortals”), and people who have Medicaid but said “no” because they don’t think of it as health insurance (Fact Sheet).

Okay, so the number is not as high as BO says. No shock there.

But what is shocking is that no one seems to be talking about the fact that as of that same year, 2007, 253.4 million Americans DO have health insurance. That number is:

up from 240.9 million in 2001
up from 242.4 million in 2002
up from 243.3 million in 2003
up from 245.3 million in 2004
up from 249.0 million in 2005
up from 249.8 million in 2006

Do you see a trend here?

So, if 253.4 million Americans HAVE health insurance and that number is steadily INCREASING while only (let’s play along, shall we?) 45 million people (not all are citizens/Americans) do not, why on earth would we completely dismantle the current system and deprive 253.4 million Americans of the level of coverage and quality of care that they currently have? Especially considering that 80% of these 253.4 million are HAPPY with the coverage they have (if not with the rising costs).

Nearly everyone (or perhaps everyone?) agrees that health care reforms are needed; however, it seems rather extreme to completely destroy a system that covers 253.4 million people. Why not simply look at why the comparatively low number of people are uninsured and address those issues?

Why remove something that is working for the VAST majority of people? This makes no sense to me. Add in the government running the entire healthcare system and the enormous price tag, and it makes even less sense.

[Originally posted August 23 2009, but I wanted to move it up the page]

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4 thoughts on “253.4 Million Americans HAVE Health Insurance

  1. You know Fuzz, it is funny. I didn't realize that I was this deep in the minority until I started looking at local polls and now your stats. My family has now gone 10 months without health insurance. We are both employed (me by the federal government and my wife by a lawyer) and neither assist with health insurance. Perhaps it saved me $4,000-$7,000 over that time and when my son recently came down with a staff infection in his knee, we thought we were screwed. Farther in debt in this game of constant financial catch-up. As it turned out, being frank about not having insurance may have actually brought the price down for my son's visit and treatment.

    Right there, something is wrong. If we had insurance, there would have been an endless number of tests and treatments that would have cost insurance companies (no, those that have insurance) hundreds…not that I feel sorry for them. It is a system so over-inflated that we have forgotten what it is like to receive solid, basic health care.

    When I last had insurance, basic needs were met, but with even good insurance, costs exceeded coverage so much that I am still paying medical bills from when I did have coverage.

    It is wrong that a hard working family like mine can not afford health care. We put off going to the doctor because $75 for an office visit is a financial heartbreak. Then multiply that by four. I have anaylized my budget and I defy anyone to come up with another $400 investment for health insurance within it each month. Sure, I could drop a car, tv and perhaps internet from the budget or maybe just live in half my house and rent out the other half. I could sell my boat and R.V..oh ya, I don't have any or a garage to put one in. Save for my kids college? Ya, good luck with that. Nobody should have to pay a monthly sum equal to a mortgage payment for the potential worst case.

    Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I am the wrong person to be telling that there is nothing wrong with our system….I got lucky this month.

  2. Hey Gregg, thanks for stopping by, always good to hear from you! I must point out that I have never said that there is nothing wrong with the current system, so I'm not sure where you are getting that. Please don't fall into the trap, my friend, of accusing people (like me) who don't want a national, government-run healthcare system of being happy with the status quo. BO's pet lie is that there are two ways to go: retain the status quo or go government. That's just one of his tactics to alienate people like me who do want reform just not THAT reform.

    The current system absolutely needs to be fixed, but it does not need to be completely dismantled and replaced with a government-run system. Why, as I ask in this post, dismantle a system that covers 253.4 people to set up a national system that won't cover anyone adequately (this has never worked in any country that's tried it; it ALWAYS means rationing, long waits, substandard care, and higher death rates for diseases.)?

    There are simple things that can be done that would address the problems with the system, while retaining the many things that do work well and that the majority of Americans do like. I wrote a couple of ideas for fixes in my post: Death Panels, Single-Payer Healthcare, and a Couple of Solutions. In addition to those ideas, I believe that we also need the tort reform that the republicans are suggesting; one of the reasons that there are so many unnecessary tests (one of BO's pet peeves, apparently) is that doctors have to cover their butts lest there be a malpractice suit, and they have to pay outrageous insurance against malpractice. Some specialists pay $200k per year just for malpractice insurance. Obviously, this increases costs because the doctors have to get that money back somehow, right?

    Anyway, I'm repeating a lot of things that I've said in other posts on the topic, so please feel free to read my posts. 🙂

    Again, it's great to hear from you, as always. But do understand that there is no one who thinks there is nothing wrong with the current healthcare system. The argument is not about that, though BO sure does try to make it sound like that.

  3. Hi again, Gregg. I was just reading over your post and my response again, and I realized that I didn't address the issue of your still having to pay for healthcare even when insured. That's absolutely going to be the case with the gov't system. You are limited under HR 3200 to $5k per individual or $10k per family in co-pays, etc. per year. Once you exceed that, you pay out of pocket. http://fuzislippers.blogspot.com/2009/08/fuzzys-notes-hr-3200-pages-1-95.html

    The government is not and logistically and financially can not provide “free” healthcare to everyone in this country. Even if everyone in this country is forced into it and paying the various costs of it (the bill sets up co-pays, deductibles, etc. and leaves the door open for co-insurance– this is what you are talking about, where the gov't puts in x percentage and you pay the rest. With that door open, and it is specifically discussed, you can bet that's what will happen. If not this year, then certainly in the next five.

    In that regard nothing will change except that you'll be paying more, getting less, and have the fun of filling out your health returns each year along with your tax returns. Check out my posts on this bill, Gregg, you may find them intersting.

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