January 31, 2004

Another View on Healthcare

From Tech Central Station:
Americans without health insurance actually spend roughly the same amount of their own money on health care ( $242) as do the fully insured ($211). To put this in perspective, the average U.S. household spends $296 on bakery products and $349 on alcoholic beverages.

While some Americans are chronically uninsured, three-quarters of the roughly 44 million uninsured remain so for less than a year.

Expect to hear much this political season of the 8.5 million children under 18 who lack health insurance....What you'll hear less of is the fact that of the 8.5 million children, the Urban Institute estimates that half are eligible for taxpayer-sponsored health insurance, be it Medicaid or some other program. They simply haven't taken advantage of the program or refuse to sign up. Of the 35 million uninsured adults, one in four are under 24, and half are under 35.

The uninsured aren't universally poor. One in three uninsured live in households with income greater than $50,000, and one in seven live in households that earn more than $75,000 a year. Nor are all deprived of access to employer-subsidized insurance. One in five workers who are uninsured and offered group health insurance actually decline it.
I'm guessing most people in that under 35 age bracket are too busy working or having fun to care about health care that much yet.