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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Facts About the Uninsured

Keith Hennessey has a great post breaking down the number of people lacking health insurance, finding that only a small number of the reported 46 million uninsured are those that might need additional support from taxpayers, after excluding those already eligible for entitlement programs, non citizens, childless adults age18-34, and those who earn above 300% of the poverty rate.

Perhaps more important is a study, summarized by Greg Scandlen, that the cost of "uncompensated care" for the uninsured shifted to taxpayers and the privately insured (through higher premiums) is dwarfed by the cost-shifting from government programs.  That is, because Medicare and Medicaid typically underpay doctors and hospitals, individuals must pay billions in higher insurance costs.

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