Advocates are scrambling to defend a health care reform plan everyone knows is flawed but one side staunchly defends - the same people throwing Food Stamp parties to get more people to sign up for those; it creates a dependent class of voters.
A group of 'policy' academics calling themselves researchers are doing their part to drum up votes for their side; they note that 89,000,000 Americans lack health insurance. For a month anyway, and over a four year period. People change jobs, of course, many of us have changed jobs, by choice or not, and had vacation in there. No one in their right mind is paying the cost of COBRA (though we soon will be) so they had no insurance during that time. Was anyone bankrupted during that period by crippling medical bills? Probably. And 'if we can save even one person from' rationale is used to justify ballooning taxes. Plus, 30 million was not a ridiculous enough claim so maybe 89 million will get more respect.
Some people either lost or changed jobs more than once during that time. "These findings call attention to the continuing instability and insecurity of health insurance in our country," says Pamela Farley Short, professor of health policy and administration at Penn State. "With more than a third of all Americans under age 65 being uninsured at some point in a four-year period, it's easy to see that the problem of being uninsured is a big one that affects lots of people."
Why? How many of those people had crippling medical bills in that time? They don't show, despite the fact that sifting through the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation was their 'research'. Instead, they did something ridiculously simplistic - they examined changes in insurance coverage among people ages 4 to 64 from 2004 to 2007. This sort of nonsense is how we got claims that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, by taking the number of marriages in a short period and the number of divorces and making a claim that it is a problem.
They found that 89 million people were uninsured during the period from 2004 to 2007 and 12 million were continually uninsured; 11 million gained coverage at some point; 11.5 lost coverage; 14 million experienced a single gap in coverage; and 6 million had a temporary spell of coverage, but were otherwise uninsured. In addition, 23 million people lost health insurance more than once during the four-year period. There are 4 million 18-year-olds in American right now. And 4 million 19-year-olds and so on. The bulk of young people do not have health insurance because they do not want the cost when their earnings are at their absolute lowest, career-wise. They choose not to get it. The ones who need it, get it.
"There is clear evidence that people who are uninsured use fewer services than people who have insurance; they postpone prevention and ignore serious problems because they don't feel they can afford the care," Short said. "As a result, some even die for lack of insurance."
See? If we can save even one life, it's all worth it. Except it isn't or we would save 10,000 times as many lives annually by dropping the speed limit while driving cars to 5 MPH.
Yet we all suffer if some have no insurance, they claim. Because people with no insurance who have an emergency can still get treated, something we are told is never allowed by hospitals, they throw poor people on the street.
"When people get caught without health insurance, hospitals and emergency rooms are still required to care for them," Short said. "Someone has to pay for those services."
According to the survey, low-income people are particularly susceptible to periodic losses of health insurance coverage. The survey revealed that a little over 64 percent of adults and nearly 60 percent of children who are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level -- equivalent to $46,100/year for a family of four -- were uninsured for at least one month during the four-year period.
"Even though low-income people are disproportionately affected by gaps in health insurance, none of us is really safe," Short said. "Any one of us could be afflicted with a serious health problem that could cause us to lose our jobs and our access to employment-based insurance, which is how most of us get insurance."
In addition to losing or changing jobs, gaps in insurance coverage can occur when people divorce and when children age out of their parents' plans or public insurance programs.
"We all have a stake in this problem of providing everyone with continuing access to affordable insurance," Short said. "Promoting stability and minimizing uninsured gaps should be high priorities as federal and state officials proceed with the implementation of national health care reforms." This analysis was apparently brought to you by the Obama administration. It appeared online in Medical Care Research and Review.