Of the 45.7 million people in the country that are supposedly starved of any available health insurance, 17.6 million have a family income of over $50,000 a year, plenty to afford health care if they want it. Of the remaining 28.1 million, 14.1 million are already eligible for Medicaid or SCHIPP, but simply aren’t enrolling. That brings the number of uninsured to 14 million. Of those, 5.7 million are “short-term” uninsured. This includes those moving from job to job with a lapse in coverage, or from a parent’s plan to a new job’s plan after college. That lowers the number of uninsured to 8.3 million. That is quite a difference. Uncle Sam could buy the remaining 8.3 million ‘Cadillac’ coverage for around $188 billion for ten years (using CPI adjusted AHIP average individual premiums adjusted by age group). That’s a savings of over 87% of the $1.5 trillion the Democrats are asking for. There is a cheaper option.
Simply buying the 8.3 million people private insurance coverage not only saves the country $1.3 trillion over 10 years, but it also provides patients with better care. A private health insurance plan is accepted at many more doctors than those of government programs, and will never succumb to the rationed coverage and long waiting lines that national insurance programs have fallen prey to in places like England and Canada. Finally, the insurance companies are ‘shovel ready,’ (to borrow a term from the left’s stimulus rhetoric). There will be no lag time. Americans can start signing up as soon as the bill passes.
The relationship between patient and doctor should be just that, but if the government must butt into Americans’ health care decisions, it should at least use the cheapest and best methods. Creating another monstrous health care program will only leave another monstrous health care program underfunded and overtaxed, just like the people.