We hear that their are current 1.6 million people uninsured in our state. It’s kind of a blanket statement, just like when pundits say there are 45 to 47 million people uninsured on a national level. The issue is much more complex than the rhetoric that comes with the numbers.
- Uninsured Eligible for Government Programs
- Uninsured Not Needing Financial Assistance
- Uninsured Needing Some Financial Assistance
- The Uninsurable
Bachman estimates that about 10% of the 1.6 million (160,000) are truly uninsured, another 560,000 (35%) are in need of some sort of financial assistance and 320,000 (20%) are already eligible for government programs (Medicaid and PeachCare).
Another 35% of the 1.6 million can afford health insurance but choose not to buy.
However, Bachman’s article is in support of Perdue’s plan to subsidize health insurance for small businesses. But rather than subsidizing the state should be encouraging individuals to take charge of their health insurance by offering dollar-for-dollar tax credits on health insurance premiums and medical expenses. And as Bachman eludes to, eliminating the tax on health insurance policies.
On a national scale, Cato Institute scholar Michael Cannon puts the number of the uninsured who qualify for government programs 20%. Cannon says these individuals are “effectively insured.” He also quotes studies that a significant number of individuals that fall into the “uninsured” could afford coverage, but elect not to. He puts the number of individuals who are continuously without coverage at around 10 million people…and one in six of that number make more that four times the poverty level.
There are market-based solutions, it’ll take government reducing its role in the health insurance market and allowing individuals to have control over there healthcare in order for them to happen.