Letter to the Editor

Statistics inflated

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dear Editor,

The Sept. 16 [editorial] "Health care debate should face central issues," cites a figure of 46 million uninsured Americans. This oft-quoted statistic is actually a gross overestimation of the problem, as recent research suggests the number of Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance is much lower.

A new study by Dr. June O'Neill, who served as Director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995 to 1999, shows that nearly half of those uninsured Americans could likely afford to purchase health coverage. The average "voluntarily uninsured" household makes $65,000 per year.

We should not rush into the creation of a new, expensive healthcare system without a better understanding of the uninsured population. As long as we continue basing our arguments on inaccurate numbers, it's hard to see how we can make effective policy decisions.

Kristen Lopez Eastlick

Senior Economic Analyst


Policies Institute

Washington, D.C.

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  • This might be a good time to bring to the fore a couple points. First:Those countries where "socialized" medicine is the dominant health care apparatus sure don't seem to be in any hurry to give up their systems and adopt the "best health care n the world" that we enjoy in this country.

    Secondly: as far a "socialism" goes,War has all the characteristics of socialism most conservatives hate: Centralized power, state planning, false rationalism, restricted liberties, foolish optimism about intended results, and blindness to unintended secondary results.Makes one wish we'd debated the two misguided military misadventures we're currently involved in as much as we're debating offering everyone decent health care.

    -- Posted by davis_x_machina on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 12:11 PM
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