It’s easy to talk about universal health care. It’s not as easy to pay for it.
“Her [Hillary Clinton’s] goal is still universal coverage through a combination of private and public insurance,” ABC reporter Liz Marlantes said on the September 16 ABC “World News.” “But this time her timing may be better. In 1993, there were 39 million uninsured Americans. Today there are 47 million. As the problem grows, the pressure on government to do something is intensifying.”
Completely left out of the ABC report was the cost of Clinton’s “bold” health care plan. According to Clinton’s Web site, her $110-billion annual plan would be financed in part by rolling back President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts for those in the top two tax brackets.
Both Clinton’s Web site and ABC’s “World News” used the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics, where the “47 million Americans” uninsured number comes from. But that number is inflated, according to health policy expert Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute.
“[T]he problem is that there are about four different government surveys that measure the number of uninsured in America and this one, which is called the ‘Current Population Survey,’ is widely recognized to overstate the number of uninsured,” said Cannon on Cato’s September 4 daily podcast.
Cannon puts the number of chronically uninsured Americans – people uninsured for two years or more – at about 10 million.
“It’s a much smaller number,” said Cannon. “You still have a lot of people in there who are able to purchase insurance – about one out of six out of those 10 million people make more than four times the poverty line.”
Clinton said in a speech at the Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, that her universal plan would not require any new bureaucracy – even though she promised a new “public plan” that would be a health insurance choice for people. Also, mandates for individuals and businesses would require enforcement, but her speech didn’t explain how that would be accomplished, especially without any new bureaucracy.