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:
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]