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07.31.2009 0

The Fuzzy Math of 47 Million

  • On: 08/07/2009 09:59:54
  • In: Health Care
  • By Robert Romano

    According the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 report, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States,” 46.9 million people are uninsured in the U.S. There’s only one problem with this statistic: approximately 31.85 million of them do not actually exist.

    The numbers really cannot lie, although the report does. Out of a total population of 297.05 million, the report states on Page 20 that the “number of people covered by private insurance was… 201.7 million in 2006” and the “number of people covered by government health programs was… 80.3 million in 2006.”

    Therefore, 282 million had insurance. Which means that out of a total population of 297.05 million, 15.05 million did not have insurance. Right?

    Not at the U.S. Census Bureau. There, 297.05 million minus 282 million equals 46.9 million Americans uninsured. How?

    Well, call it “fuzzy math.” In the above figure, taken from Page 20 of Census’ report, the fine print reads, “The estimates by type of coverage are not mutually exclusive; people can be covered by more than one type of insurance during the year.” But, nobody can be covered by insurance and not covered by it.

    In other words, some 31.85 million people reported as uninsured in 2006 did have some coverage, and the Census included them in both categories. Why? They were probably between jobs at some point during the year, which is not abnormal.

    It doesn’t mean they do not have access to health care at all. They were simply temporarily uninsured. Only 15.05 million people fell into the category of being completely uninsured according to the Census’ own data.

    Of course, there’s an obvious problem with the use of the Census’ methodology. Nobody told the American people of this critical footnote.

    Instead, as recently as July 22nd, they were told by Barack Obama that “This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job or change their job.”

    He said it without any qualification. Without any footnote explaining the complex methodology that grossly overstates the amount of people without any health coverage at all. And certainly without explanation as to why he would propose offering health coverage to over 30 million people who actually have it.

    According to the data, 10.1 million of the 46.9 million of Census’ reported uninsured were unemployed for the entire year, and 5.6 million worked part-time, which can safely be said for the most part not to have had access to care. Of the other 31.2 million, 22 million worked full-time, 8.6 million were under 18, and 542 thousand were 65 or older.

    So, if we’re to believe Census’ report, every year, over 30 million Americans have coverage, subsequently lose that coverage, and then for most of the year fail to get new coverage.

    Only that’s impossible, since 22 million of them were working full-time according to the report. They didn’t lose their jobs. So, how is it possible that they lost their coverage?

    It isn’t. But, based upon the data, in the next year, roughly the same amount of people again had access to coverage, lost it, and then for most of the year failed to get new coverage—and yet did not lose their jobs.

    Remarkably, the number of individuals without any insurance at all has remained about the same, meaning that folks who did lose insurance regain it in less than a year’s time. In both 2005 and 2006, the number of absolutely uninsured was 15 million. In the more recent 2007 report the number decreased to 13.6 million who had no health coverage at all. 285 million did have coverage out of a total of 298.6 million. So, what gives?

    Simply put, the reports are wrong, and they have simply become the bureaucratic means of giving politicians the “proof” they want to fit their hypothesis of a “crisis.”

    It therefore makes no sense to screw over the 285 million who already have coverage by completely reorganizing the entire system to offer welfare to some 13.6-15.05 million without it.

    Because, it is not necessary for the government to take over the entire health care system, such as is proposed under ObamaCare, in order to offer health coverage to those people. And the politicians know it.

    This is why they are making use of gross exaggeration to concoct the crisis of 47 million “uninsured.” It’s not about providing health care at all. It’s about expanding bureaucracy. It’s about a takeover. It’s about control. Only, now you know.

    Robert Romano is the ALG Senior News Editor.

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