Monday, July 27, 2009

Does the U.S. Healthcare System require a major overhaul?

“Categorize the 47 Million Uninsured first.”

President Obama, Washington, D.C. representatives and many media outlets state that there are 47 million Americans without health insurance, but of this group of individuals, how many are actually ‘involuntarily uninsured?’ The claims, delivered by pro total-overhaul proponents, seem to project a picture of poverty and exclusion from the club of access to health insurance.

That assertion conflicts with data from the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau, issued in August 2008, which sheds a different perspective on the issue by categorizing uninsured individuals into groups. [“Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007” ]

**45.65 million People in the U.S. did not have health insurance in 2007.
**9.73 million Foreigners; foreign-born non-citizens who were in the country in 2007 were included in that number. So the number of uninsured Americans was actually 35.92 million. [Four of the top ten least insured State’s share the distinction of having the largest illegal alien population per capita; Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.]
**9.1 million People making more than $75,000 per year were also included in that number who chose NOT to purchase health insurance. That brings the number of Americans who lack health insurance, for financial reasons, down to 26.82 million.
**The Census Bureau report also shows that the number of people without insurance declined in 2007 compared to 2006; from 47 million to 45.65 million and the number of individuals with insurance increased from 249.8 million to 253.4 million.
**There are an undetermined number of individuals who fall into two additional categories; those who can afford health insurance but feel it is ‘unnecessary because of their youth’ and those who qualify for Medicaid and/or Medicare and have not enrolled.

Perhaps the need for an omnibus overhaul of the United States healthcare system been grossly overstated. Most media accounts tout that 80% of Americans are satisfied with their current coverage. Transforming the ‘best healthcare system in the world’ is not worth the risk of governmental malpractice, by prescribing an unnecessary procedure.

Eliminating bureaucratic waste and fraud from Medicare and Medicaid would certainly free up funds to address the health needs of 26.82 million Americans who are involuntarily uninsured. Allowing interstate commerce for health insurance would create completion in the private sector to lower premiums.

There are many options in the private sector that must be explored before a Federal bureaucrat is allowed to come between you and your doctor. I know how the Medicare system works and believe me; you do not want to go there before it is absolutely necessary. At Risk; 1/6 of the U.S. economy for less than 8.747% of the U.S. population; not the 14.87% we are being lead to believe.

Yes, it is essential that less fortunate ‘Americans’ are medically insured, but there are other means to achieve that goal. The next Census Bureau report disclosing health insurance data, with 2008 numbers, is scheduled to be released in August 2009; and could figure in the healthcare reform debate, however, the current state of our economy should not dictate a total overhaul of our healthcare system or play heavily in the national debate.

Our economy will recover, but once the healthcare debate is over, legislation has passed and if we have sacrificed our medical options, we most likely will never recover ‘the best healthcare system in the world.’ Ask yourself this question, “Even if we were in good economic times, is the road we are heading on, in regard to our healthcare system, really the right direction we should be following?”

[“Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007” report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2008 and earlier Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.]

[‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’ H.R.3200 ]

Top Ten States (Medically Uninsured)
# 1 Texas
# 2 New Mexico
# 3 Florida
# 4 Arizona
# 5 Louisiana
# 6 Mississippi
# 7 California
# 8 Oklahoma
# 9 Nevada
# 10 Georgia

Top Ten States (Illegal aliens per capita)
# 1 California; 6.114 per 100 people
# 2 Arizona; 4.765 per 100 people
# 3 Texas; 4.554 per 100 people
# 4 Nevada; 4.183 per 100 people
# 5 Illinois; 3.385 per 100 people
# 6 Colorado; 3.087 per 100 people
# 7 Utah; 2.632 per 100 people
# 8 New York; 2.54 per 100 people
# 9 New Jersey; 2.535 per 100 people
# 10 Georgia; 2.513 per 100 people

[The government and news media have touted the ‘undocumented foreign national’ population to be a 12 million individuals for years. More recent and non-political sources place that same population in a range from 20.2 to 30 million. ]

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