Monday, March 05, 2007

Alarming Statistics

I don't know if anyone else caught this article in the New York Times this morning, but this is pretty shocking. I had no idea that 1 in 4 Americans are uninsured! The article says there's approximately 47 million of us and it's growing. I knew this was a problem but man alive 1/4 of the country. I don't have the solution, but you can bet I will be paying attention when candidates discuss this issue!

Update: It's been awhile since I made this post but I wanted to leave you with the correct information. The ratio of uninsured people in this country is approximately 1 in 6, not 1 in 4 that I posted above. Thanks kevin for pointing this out.


Blogger Vivian said...

Thanks for posting this, that was such a horrible story. This is going on all over the country and no one wants to really solve it. The whole subject scares me and breaks my heart.

8:03 PM  
Blogger MileMasterSarah said...

This insurance thing is huge. There is the uninsured which make up 25% of the population. Of the 75% of the population that IS insured, is their existing insurance affordable? It is not just the uninsured that don’t get adequate care because of costs. And that is sad. Insurance companies are even allowed to discriminate by diagnoses in most states, as in many insurance plans will not cover treatment related with an autism diagnosis (disgusting!). Mental health coverage is rarely adequate, and even medical coverage for chronic conditions is grossly undercovered. This problem of insurance is HUGE, not just covering the needs of the uninsured, but also the needs of insured folk.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I haven't read the article, but the percentages are wrong. While there are between 44 and 48 million uninsured in the US (estimates vary), there are 300 million people total (estimates don't vary all that much here).

That's closer to 15% than 25%. To diminish the problem even further, included in that number of uninsured is a significant bunch of young healthy folks that have offers of insurance but opt not to take it in favor of more money in their pockets.

This is not to say not having insurance is not a problem, but a more important issue is access to affordable insurance. For folks above the Medicaid threshold, but with relatively low income (aka, the working poor) having access to affordable health insurance is indeed a big problem. For the young, healthy folks, perhaps some better education on the value of insurance is needed. But then there's something to be said for freedom of choice.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

vivian, sarah & esp. kevin:
I made a mistake on this post that I actually caught before hand and kevin brought home to me.

It is about 1/6th the population that is uninsured not 1/4th I stated in my post. There are about 47 million uninsured folks and the article pointed out that these are increasingly middle class... the lady in the article has a prior condition and is uninsurable, just like us.

4:45 PM  

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