The Phantom 46 Million Uninsured

Thomas D. Segel
By Thomas D. Segel | July 22, 2009 | 4:34 PM EDT

Admittedly, there are millions of us who subscribe to the age-old adage that if a politician’s lips are moving – he is lying. So, with that thought in mind, we ask again, just who are these 46 million Americans the Obama administration and the Democrats say do not have health care coverage?

According to various reports, a full 70 percent of that number claim they have access to the health care they need. Almost half of that number are younger, healthy Americans who could purchase health insurance, but don’t see such purchases as being essential or desired. 
So, let’s give those wonderful and caring politicians a break and only count about 10 million people in that “need health care” category, much lower than the estimated 23 million who some researchers say fill those ranks. 
Well, if we minus that 10 million, we are now down to 36 million people who don’t have health care coverage and really need it.

The government’s own figures tell us that when reviewing the State-Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicare and Medicaid, plus various government programs in place to care for indigent and illegal alien populations, there are still about 11 million people who qualify for these programs, but for a variety of reasons reject using them. 
If that number is subtracted from the ballyhooed 46 million in need of care, we are now down to 25 million without coverage.

Nobody has considered the more than 2 million Americans in jail, being provided free health care or the working people who have company provided insurance for themselves, but refuse to pay those extra dollars to insure their families. 
What about all those drug dealers and petty crooks who have yet to be caught? There are dozens roaming our streets for every one person in jail. Do we need a health insurance program for them?

So, if we do the math, our phantom 46 million is now down to about 20 million people in need of medical assistance. 
When you view the “health care crisis” from that vantage point and add in the fact that 89 percent of Americans with health insurance claim they are happy with their plans, we don’t really have that much of a crisis. 
There is no logical reason for the politicians of our country to rip up a nationwide system of care and substitute their quagmire of care for existing programs. And we all know the more government programs, the more government mismanagement. 

If the politicos are really concerned with our citizens and the care they receive, how about full tax credits for those people and companies who purchase health insurance? How about full deductions for out-of-pocket medical expenses? How about tax-free medical savings accounts? 
All of that would be far less expensive than the current attempt to control about one-fifth of the country’s economy and give people something they never asked for and don’t want.