I’ve been pondering this number. Yes, it sounds bad, very bad, and we Republicans know that it is not an accurate count of the truly no-fault-of-their-own uninsured. I have read here on Redstate estimates of 8 to 12 million that fall into this category. But how many of those are really sick? How many have accidents? How many need medical care? From http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/c/chronic/stats-country.htm
Prevalance Rate for Chronic Illness:
approx 1 in 3 or 33.09% or 90 million people in USA
I can’t find a good number on the total injury rate in the US, but the above knocks down our number to 2.4 to 3.6 million.
So, we are going to remake our healthcare system for 2.4 – 3.6 million people? Who is providing for their care now? Because these people are getting care. The good people of the United States do care for their sick! So, who is doing it?
According to Wiki (Is citing Wiki good enough for Redstate?):
A 2003 study in Health Affairs estimated that uninsured people in the U.S. received approximately $35 billion in uncompensated care in 2001. The study noted that this amount per capita was half what the average insured person received. The study found that various levels of government finance most uncompensated care, spending about $30.6 billion on payments and programs to serve the uninsured and covering as much as 80–85 percent of uncompensated care costs through grants and other direct payments, tax appropriations, and Medicare and Medicaid payment add-ons. Most of this money comes from the federal government, followed by state and local tax appropriations for hospitals.
These numbers obviously include all the uninsured, for whatever reason. But what about charity care?
There’s a long tradition in the U.S. healthcare system of physicians providing charity care, either to uninsured persons or other medically indigent individuals. They’ve either done it in their own practice or as volunteers at free clinics. This has, in a way, provided a sort of cushion for those who are uninsured.
And I have had trouble finding a good list of all medical charities but I imagine most of us have a free clinic in our towns and we all know about the large charity hospitals like St. Jude.
All patients accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay.
So, are Obama and the Democrats in Congress at war with charities? Are they counting on putting something in place that is really less expensive than the 1 trillion they are projecting because of the inflated uninsured number? And then declaring it a big success? Are they counting on the reduction in charitable deductions, because these medical charities won’t be needed, to cover part of the cost? Our system as we have it now does cover the uninsured. So why the big overhaul? Unless it’s all about control.