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#369241 - 12/18/0911:32 PMRe: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed?
Stormy - your statements that there is no reason for children and average adults to be uninsured in America don't seem to jive with the statistics.
I don’t know whether you could manage to clothe, feed and shelter a family of four for $22,050, but I would find that a struggle. It certainly wouldn’t be possible to go to Disney at this income level. Your choices are between food and heat, not Disney or health insurance. In fact, elderly people living at the poverty level are sometimes found dead from hypothermia because they can’t afford heat or dead from malnutrition because they’ve chosen heat instead of food.
USA Today quotes average annual healthcare premiums at slightly over $13,000 per annum - that's a big chunk of change for a low-income family, even if they are above the poverty line.
The following statistics sound quite dire to me:
• The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. Source: Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences
• In 2006, the percentage of Americans without health insurance was 15.8%, or approximately 47 million uninsured people. Source: US Census Bureau
• The primary reason given for lack of health insurance coverage in 2005 was cost (more than 50%), lost job or a change in employment (24%), Medicaid benefits stopped (10%), ineligibility for family insurance coverage due to age or leaving school (8%). Source: National Center for Health Statistics
• The United States ranks 43rd in lowest infant mortality rate, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990. Singapore has the lowest rate with 2.3 deaths per 1000 live births, while the United States has a rate of 6.3 deaths per 1000 live births. Some of the other 42 nations that have a lower infant mortality rate than the US include Hong Kong, Slovenia, and Cuba. Source: CIA Factbook (2008)
• Approximately 30,000 infants die in the United States each year. The infant mortality rate, which is the risk of death during the first year of life, is related to the underlying health of the mother, public health practices, socioeconomic conditions, and availability and use of appropriate health care for infants and pregnant women. Sources: CDC and National Center for Health Statistics.
• Two-thirds of non-elderly people without health insurance have jobs, and the number of uninsured people is steadily growing — 46.6 million according to a 2006 Census Bureau Report.
• Three-quarters of Americans who declare medical bankruptcy had medical insurance when they became ill.
• People with incomes that are more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level accounted for one-third of the recent increase in the number of uninsured adults, and half that growth was among young adults aged 19 to 34.