From Freshman U.S. Senator James Risch:
source: Senator James Risch (R-Idaho)
I note that this chart might confuse "households" with "individuals." Still, I've said much the same before--starting at the top and moving clockwise:
- Blue: As I've previously discussed:
Gregg Easterbrook noted in his odd, but interesting, The Progress Paradox, we could reduce the number of families living below the poverty line by more than half merely by barring immigration. It's reasonable to presume the same approach also would lessen the number lacking healthcare insurance. But if that's not the preferred policy choice, doesn't that suggest both that it's difficult to compare healthcare here with healthcare there AND that our current system might not be as flawed or as expensive as the "healthcare is a fundamental right" liberals suggest?
- Red: no comment.
- Green: in addition to the 9.1 million uninsured in households earning over $75k annually, there are 17.6 million uninsured in households earning over $50k annually.
- Purple: as of 2002, as many as 18 million people were listed as uninsured by the Census Bureau but in fact enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid.
- Tan: two estimates from 2004 suggested 25 percent (Bush Administration Council of Economic Advisers) or 37 percent (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey) of employees that are eligible decline employer-sponsored health insurance.
- Orange: uninsured isn't untreated: a 2002 estimate from a "universal coverage" advocacy group said that 80 percent of the uninsured had access to needed medical care.
But, many of the nominally uninsured -- 45.7 million in 2007 -- lack coverage by choice. According to Dave at Classical Values, the true total of those who can't get health insurance is more like 6 million, or 2 percent of Americans. So why is health reform a crisis? Commenter suek already answered this question: "The problem is that the goal of the legislation is not to provide health care, the goal is to obtain more power for the Federal government." See also AWR Hawkins and Megan McArdle:
I don't want to give the government a greater role in health care markets. Nay, not even if all the other countries . . . well, all the cool countries, anyway . . . are doing it.A public policy broadening health insurance coverage for the truly needy without growing government is relatively simple. The problem--Senator John McCain campaigned for much of it last year, so it's a political non-starter for this Administration. Instead, for progressives, it's more like: "More communitarian sausage-making, Ma; please?"
See also Ed Morrissey:
It’s not 47 million. It’s not 36 million. The number of Americans uninsured out of necessity and not economic choice is at most 14 million. Understanding that will bring a much more balanced approach to health-care reform on a scale commensurate with the problem, rather than a hysterical rush to throw out a system that works for hundreds of millions Americans.(via Assistant Village Idiot, Grand Rants)