Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

23 July 2008

47 Million Uninsured Americans Revisited

Obama recently claimed that he was going to see to it that all 47 million uninsured Americans received health insurance. Anyone who is not completely out of their mind in thinking they are qualified to run for the office of President, should be informed about who these 47 million uninsured people are in the United States. In November 2007, I posted on this issue here.

Dick Morris was giving Obama a hard time about this issue on Fox News earlier today. He pointed out that Obama has both claimed that he will not provide health insurance coverage to illegal aliens and that he will insure all 47 million uninsured in America. The fact that many millions of the uninsured numbered in the 47 million are illegal aliens, was either something he was ignorant of or he was so carried away with taking advantage of the exaggerated implications that 47 million desperate Americans are suffering constant trauma due to having no health insurance, that he never thought of what his commitment really means.

The 47 million uninsured has become a huge selling point for an even more massive socialist takeover of the whole health insurance and health provision industries and the left has fallen in love with this number. But, as I previously pointed out, all of the millions of the Americans who are without health insurance, have access to health care already. Many of them are so wealthy, that they choose to be self-insured. Most of the 47 million who actually are citizens or legal residents in the U. S. can afford health insurance, but they choose to spend their money on other things instead. Some of those who are young and healthy, simply see no reason to spend money on insurance to pay for the health needs of others who are not so healthy. I have at least one nephew whose family has no insurance by choice for this reason.

We often forget how many Americans are millionaires or multi-millionaires. In March of 2006, there were 8.9 million Americans with a net worth exceeding $1 million excluding the value of their primary residence. Surely these 8.9 million Americans cannot be expected to buy health insurance and forcing them to do so, as Obama claims he will, cannot be justified. If $1 million dollars will not buy them enough health care, then few commercial health plans will either. But in any case, they should be free to make this choice as they wish. I suspect that many of these people were able to make so much money in part because they enjoyed good health and yet they had a median age of 58, at which age health insurance tends to become quite expensive. Choosing to be self-insured makes a lot of sense for many of these people. What is more, they were in a position to provide self-insurance support to their entire families. Consequently, many of their children in their household or in separate households may not have a need for health insurance either. With an average of two children with wives and two children in each child's household and given a millionaire household with husband and wife, each millionaire household might easily provide health care self-insurance for 10 people. This could mean we could easily and reasonably have as many as 90 million Americans without health insurance who had no need for health insurance. Excluding the illegal aliens, it is clear we have many fewer than half that number.

Of course, many of the Americans who can afford health insurance and choose not to have it are not backed by a millionaire for their health needs. But, noting how many could be, points out that we surely have a need to examine more closely why many Americans do not have health insurance. We do know that most of those who are uninsured could afford to be insured if they wished to be. We should hesitate to impose the will of others, elitists all, upon them. We should hesitate to use the force of government to make them redefine their values and their assessments of their own lives.

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