Health Insurance Crisis May Be Overblown

What health insurance “crisis”? New stats are out today showing the number of U.S. residents without health coverage actually declined last year. More importantly: Devon Herrick, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis here, points out that nearly 85 percent of U.S. residents are either privately insured or enrolled in a government health program; nearly 18 million of the uninsured live in households where the annual income exceeds $50,000; and as many as 14 million of the uninsured actually qualified for government programs–but failed to enroll in them. Just don’t count on hearing much of this from the podium in Denver this week.


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26 responses to “Health Insurance Crisis May Be Overblown”

  1. Brad Thedinger says:

    Probably because none of it is true.

  2. amanda says:

    Even at 50K, it’s unlikely you could afford a broken bone, Glenn…

    The healthcare and medical industry needs some help, some kind of push toward reality.

  3. Tom says:

    First paragraph of the story on “Texas again leads the nation with the highest percentage of uninsured residents, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released on Tuesday.”
    I don’t see it as an overblown issue, especially in a state like Texas, with a rapidly-growing, mostly young population. Whether Barack and Michelle Obama are “patriotic enough” to live in the White House is an example of an overblown issue.

  4. Krystalviews says:

    Maybe the number of people without health coverage declined because many of them died…. could not afford to get treatment.
    That is excellent news for the insurance industry!

  5. Dr. Freud says:


    Democratic convention is going on; Republican convention is next week.

    Let’s see. Gas prices are dropping. There’s “good news” about health insurance, employment and inflation. Home resales are “up” too. And Dick Cheney is going to straighten things out in Georgia (the one near Russia, I think). Oh, and let’s not forget that a book “exposing” Obama’s faults is allegedly #1 on the NYT best seller list.

    Any connection between the events taking place this week and next, and the steady drumbeat about how “good” things are under a Republican administration (not to mention how bad they would be if the Democrats win)?

    There are, as they say, lies, damned lies, and statistics. If I were you, I wouldn’t believe any of the ones you hear over the next three months.

  6. Krystalviews says:

    I haven’t believed anything spoken by government during the past 8 years anyway!

  7. Uh, with all of these fun people on here telling me that we need some sort of nationalized health care… I am still looking for some true analysis that tells me WHY we need it. Throwing around numbers of 18 million people need me to pay for their health care better have some pretty good analysis associated with it. There are reasons I don’t run off to Canada or Great Britain for medical care (not being able to get healthcare or waiting so long I have to do the job myself is not the type of system I want to be in: Seriously people, when is the last time you visited a government agency and said, “wow, I wish everything was run like that!”

  8. No La La Land Lemming says:

    Count on Glenn to set us straight. Here I was sulking over my 6 yr payout on a $145 grand operation when those monhly freelance health coverage premiums became higher than the mortgage.

    Maybe when Glenn heard Ted Kennedy say last night, “the dream lives on” he thought he said “Dream on”.

  9. Trey Garrison says:

    No La La is lucky he at least got the operation. Probably wouldn’t have in Great Britain or Canada.

    As PJ said, if you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s “free.”

  10. pookie says:


    I suspect that the decline can be directly traced to the fact that these people didn’t get health care and are now among the “dearly departed.” I guess that’s one way to solve the problem.

  11. Trey Garrison says:

    Let’s loose this meme that health care is a right. It ain’t. It’s a service like any other, and you do and should get what you pay for.

    Are there problems that need fixing? Sure. But creating another entitlement isn’t the solution, especially when the problem is government meddling and collusion with insurance companies and health care providers in the first place.

  12. Kirk says:

    You’re a bitter man, Trey Garrison. Try a little compassion instead of your libertarian rage.

  13. Ana Moure says:

    It’s in crisis because it kinda bankrupts the US. And nationalisation will only make it worse.
    Milton Friedman’s article I gave a link to already:
    My take (I had a chance to experience Universal Healthcare in USSR, libertarian post-USSR solution – which was the best, and US health insurance):

  14. Baba Looey says:

    People do have operations in great britain. they actually have a functioning health care system there, I don’t care about the lies you hear from Rush Limbaugh and other liars. Most of the brits I’ve talked to praise their national healthcare system, and believe we are ignorant peasants for not having one. It is not perfect, but it seems to be popular.

  15. Trey Garrison says:

    What’s compassionate about demanding other people give you stuff for free?

    And the UK system is not just broken — six to 12 month waiting lists for minor operations — it’s also going broke.

  16. Amy says:

    Bravo, Trey!!!

  17. He Kexin says:

    We don’t need to give away our tax dollars to help Americans needing health care. Lets give it to other countries for their health care or give it to share holders of banks in this country. We could let it vanish in Iraq, as billions have done. It’s called privatizing the gains and publicizing the loses.

  18. wade says:

    where are the stats that says it takes 6-12 months for a minor operation?

  19. Ana Moure says:

    Wade, I don’t have stats, but I have friends in Canada. Who love love love their free healthcare, – but when something serious happens, and they apparently need to wait for 6 months to 24 months to even see a doctor, – they cross the border and go to the US.

    So they are happy. But what will they do when the healthcare will be nationalized in the US too?

  20. Ana Moure says:

    Also, when Canadians won’t be able to go to the US, – their waitlists would get even longer I guess…

  21. Anasa says:

    Why don’t we talk numbers and see if someting is really “NOT???” wrong. It is simple. It does not compute:
    We cannot save money for a health care crisis because we are paying (through a group plan so it is better than for an individual) a whopping: 1,230 dollars a month (that’s more than rent) for the two of us. If one of us gets sick, we will not be able to pay for this bill so we will be cut off and therefore the payments we are making and that are killing us will be worthless. How is that for a health care crisis? Is the picture beginning to make semse to those of you who don’t think ther is a healthcare crisis??? I am not even counting the fact that we are not sure the insurance will pay when it comes time to do so and the premiums and co-insurance we will have to find somewhere. But where if all the potential savings is going to the insurance company in the first place? Is helath insurance worth it? THAT IS THE REAL QUESTION!

  22. He Kexin says:

    Don’t forget the doctors who do the work don’t get paid on time by the insurance companies while the c.e.o.s who run these companies are making millions of dollars.

  23. Anasa says:

    May-be that’s where we need to start. If we can stop the greed at the top, may-be we can start to see health care costs go down and eventually insurance rates as well. I wish we could just pay doctors directly and forget all about those bureaucrats in between that have their hands out. The only thing is that doctors need to be protected from being sued. It is a vicious circle of greed.

  24. He Kexin says:

    My mother does pay her doctor with cash. She actually gets a discount for paying cash. My parents retired early, my father is a veteran so he’s taken care of but my mother has 1 year to go before she becomes 65.

  25. Trey Garrison says:

    NHS (UK socialized health care system) wait times:

    8 months for cataract surgery
    11 months for a hip replacement
    12 months for a knee replacement
    5 months to repair a slipped disc
    5 months for a hernia repair

    Treatments rationed:,,329811270-102285,00.html

    NHS using bogus stats to pretend wait times are decreasing:

    Detailed stats on wait times:

    Note that the sources are either UK papers like the Guardian or the British government itself, not right-wing demagogues.