Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Aren't More Upset about Shoddy Health Care Coverage?

Where are the pitchforks? Where are the "tea parties" to protest our broken health insurance system? A look at the demographics of health insurance coverage reveals the answer: The percentage of adults who must make do with the ludicrously expensive and inadequate private health insurance system is relatively small. Here is the breakdown for 2007, the latest data available:

Total population: 299 million
Medicaid: 40 million
Medicare: 41 million
Military health care: 11 million
Uninsured: 46 million
Children with private health insurance: 44 million
Elderly with private health insurance: 13 million

Subtract all those people as potential constituents for health insurance reform, and that leaves 105 million--or just 35 percent of the population--who are struggling. And the percentage is even smaller if you also subtract the few who have top-quality private health insurance--such as teachers, senators, and congressional representatives. Little known fact: each member of Congress receives health insurance for life after serving only five years in office. This goes a long way toward explaining their "What, me worry?" attitude.

So, only about one-third of Americans are experiencing the full force of the broken health insurance system. Good luck with that.

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