The story now is similar. The uninsured are:
- 12 million eligible for Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, including 64% of uninsured children and 29% of parents with children. If these people go to a hospital for treatment, they are automatically enrolled in the relevant program, so they are not really uninsured!
- 10 million who are not citizens of the United States, where 5.6 million are illegal immigrants and 4.4 million are legal immigrants.
- 43% of the uninsured have incomes greater than 250% of the poverty level or greater than $55,125 for a family of four. More than one-third have incomes over $66,000.
- Nearly three-quarters of the uninsured can afford health insurance coverage.
- 60% of the uninsured are under age 35 and 86% say they are in good or excellent health.
- About half are uninsured for less than 6 months, 30% for less than one year, 16% for less than 2 years, and less than 2.5% for 3 years or longer.
The generally short durations in which people do not have health insurance suggest that many lose it when they lose or change jobs. Some lose it because they have started a small business and current tax policies exclude many small business owners from tax deductions for health insurance. The best way to deal with this is to give everyone a large Health Savings Account (HSA) to purchase health insurance, but the Democrats hate this for no reason but that it removes health care decisions from politics and deprives them of political power. A great advantage of the HSAs is that they give health care users a reason to care about the cost and effectiveness of the health care they seek from providers. In the government-run system, no one has such reasons for personal interest so costs balloon.
Democrats claim that the massive health care overhaul is needed to address two issues:
- The many uninsured.
- The ever-increasing cost of health insurance.