Friday, September 11, 2009

Healthcare for Dummies - Look at the numbers first

The president then adverted to “more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.” As theWashington Examiner’s Byron York notes, the 30 million figure represents a climb down from the president’s oft-repeated claim (most recently in August) that there are “47 million uninsured in this country.”

Perhaps by downgrading to 30 million, President Obama is attempting to exclude an estimated 9.3 million illegal aliens. But look closely at the rest of the uninsured. According to Census and HHS data, 10 million have incomes more than three hundred percent of the poverty line, meaning they could afford coverage but for some reason choose to forgo it. And speaking of those who forgo, 5 million are single childless adults between the ages of 18 and 34. An estimated 6.4 million are “Medicaid undercount,” meaning they receive Medicaid or SCHIP but tell census takers otherwise. Another 4.3 million are eligible for Medicaid or other government health programs but have failed to enroll. That leaves just 10.6 million U.S. citizens below 300 percent of the poverty line, not eligible for an existing government program, and not between 18 and 34.