Originally Posted by Remali
You have obviously never been on Medicaid or tried to get "free care". And, FYI the number is not insignificant, it may be where you live, but it sure is not where I am.
You are correct. Even when I was dirt poor with a pregnant wife I did not seek any type of assistance. Where I come from we have both pride and character and take care of ourselves.
As to what is insignificant, I guess it depends upon one's point of view. Currently an estimated 16.3% of the population is uninsured (without private insurance or medicare or medicaid). 37% of that 16.3% make over $50K/year and can afford insurance but choose not to get it. Another 12% of the uninsured that make less than $50K are eligible for group coverage at work at cheap prices and choose not to take it. That leaves 8.3% of the population. About 4% of the population receives care at free clinics and charity hospitals. That leaves 4.3% of the population. There are 1.3 million veterans under 65 that use VA medical and hospital facilities - that leaves 3.9% of the population. There are several other categories that are smaller...for example many people are eligible for medicaid and other programs and do not take advantage of them, and the very wealthy sometimes self insure. I cannot find reliable numbers on these smaller groups, so will just assume a small figure similar to the VA .4%, which leaves about 3.5% of the population that can potentially fall through the cracks - about 11 million people.
I am doing this "on-the-fly", and in coming up with 3% of the population, roughly 11 million people, I would probably have to back off the "insignificant" and change it to "small", as 3% of the population is statistically small, although large in actual numbers. So - one point for you. However, keep in mind that I am using actual numbers. Anyone that both does not have access to health insurance and (truly) cannot afford their own still has access to the charity care - they just aren't included in the numbers, most likely because they didn't have need for health care...