Health Care Not for Everybody
The pundits spend a lot of time talking about the low percentage of Americans who view the new health care legislation favorably. That is probably because the main beneficiaries are only about 10% of the population. Apparently of the approximately 300 million Americans, about 45 million have no health care insurance, or about 15% of the population. The new bill will cover about 30 million of them, or about 10% of the population. I suspect that they are very happy with the new legislation, but the 85% of Americans who have health care insurance may not be pleased with having this 10% added on, who will probably not carry their weight in terms of paying for their benefits. So, it’s really only some altruistic motive that would make the 85% with insurance support the new bill. The 85% do get some things, like coverage of pre-existing conditions, perhaps access to more insurers, etc., but these advantages are small compared to what the uninsured get. Even some of the uninsured may be unhappy. Some of them will be healthy young people who have chosen not to buy health insurance because they don’t want it. They will actually be a welcome addition to the insurance base, and will pay their own way. The unwelcome additions will be older people, not yet eligible for Medicare, who have serious health problems. To take care of them, there will be costs that must be covered somehow, currently by anticipated taxes on higher, investor incomes, on “Cadillac” health plans and by cuts to Medicare payments, among some other things.