U.S. Census says 85% of all in the United States have healthcare insurance - is this a crisis?

Real Estate Agent with Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. BK627826

There was an article on the front page of today's Orlando Sentinel about people moving out of Florida.  The article quoted U.S. Census data. In addition to the mobility factor it discussed health insurance.

Figures are taken directly from the United States Census.  This survey was conducted by the federal government which makes it a little hard to refute the numbers.

85% of the people in the United States have health insurance.  Along with 79% in Florida and 80% in Central Florida.

Read the article yourself. 

I still believe we need health care reform to give affordable insurance to those who need it and to lower the costs for everyone.  My insurance premiums have basically doubled in 8 years, so I am all on board for fixing that problem.  But the solution in my opinion is not to throw together a massive new health care law full of penalties and mandates. Don't threaten me with a fine if I don't want to buy a health insurance policy - it is my body.  I follow the Clark Howard theory of keeping it simple and allowing the free market into healthcare for the first time ever.

The census figures sure don't make healthcare sound like a crisis with 85% of the people being insured.


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Dan Callahan
Callahan's Home Inspections - Casper, WY

I think they need to look hard at what these hospitals and doctors are charging. I recently had to be admitted to a hospital and they charged me $395.00 for a mandatory "comfort kit" which included hotel size bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, conditioner, a tube of toothpaste, tooth brush, and comb.

Sep 22, 2009 01:19 AM #1
Jeff Craig
Hang Me Up Photos - Jamestown, NC
Greensboro Area Real Estate Photography

I find it hard to beleive that many people have health insurance.  In my area, with such high unempoyment, many people can not afford to keep Cobra.

Sep 22, 2009 01:24 AM #2
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I wonder how much that remaining 15% costs the rest of us in unpaid medical bills. That's one aspect of the health care debate that I've haven't heard much about.

What is the cost of underwriting those who have no health coverage? If they are in an accident or become seriously ill, they are still ending up in the ER but in most cases probably aren't going to pay up at the end of the visit. Somebody (everybody) ends up paying somehow.

Sep 22, 2009 01:56 AM #3
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor

It's like they say on Star Trek.  the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  Hmmmm.  That's not right. 

Sep 22, 2009 05:25 AM #4
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

I think 15% is a crisis - and one that's going to get a lot worse fast if nothing is done. Certainly if you're in the 15% it's a crisis - and anyone of us could be in that group all too easily. I'm insured but I pay $700 per month for the privilege - just for myself.  And each year the costs goes up and the coverage goes down.  This can't continue.  The free market is not going to do the job in providing health care. I'm all for single payer but the public option is a small start and a bare minimum to start to make things right.


Sep 22, 2009 09:49 AM #5
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

No one disagrees that fixes are necessary.  fix it for those who are uninsured.  then work on bringing down costs.  Overhaul creates a larger government.  Allowing free trade between states would bring competition.  The Baucus bill does not begin to fix the problems just creates more and protects the insurance companies from losing revenue. It will be a boom to them.

Sep 22, 2009 03:15 PM #6
Linda Mae Croom
Topock, AZ
(928) 768-3040

"The census figures sure don't make healthcare sound like a crisis with 85% of the people being insured."

Rob, It sounds great when you put it that way BUT you fail to mention in your post that 85% equals SIXTY MILLION people.

Now i don't know what big city you live in but in my neck of the woods that figure just about wipes out Arizona completely!

As for penalties for NOT having Insurance?   In Arizona No Seat Belt. $ 65.00. 28-4135 NoInsurance (MANDATORY MVD SUSPENSION & FINE) $968.00. 

These laws were put in to place to keep your costs Down. If someone hits your car without Insurance, you pay.  If you get seriously injured or killed not wearing your seat belt we ALL pay. Even so some do not wear seat belts or have Insurance by their own choice and they pay fines.

Why should Health care be any different? If someone needs medical care with no Insurance we ALL pay. Again some will choose not to get Insurance and they will pay fines. It is an incentive for EVERYONE to get Health Insurance so we don't have to pay so much.

I agree MANY things need to be worked out in the Bill BUT "penalties" is not one of them.

 If the Federal and State lawmakers can MAKE us by Law have Insurance on our cars I would certainly understand paying for Insurance on my own body and that of my loved ones.

Sep 22, 2009 07:03 PM #7
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Julia - Exactly.  So why force us 85% to deal with the rest of them.  America already has medicare.  Just let the poor people join into that. Then figure out how to reduce costs for those 85% of us that already have insurance. 

Liz - First, you need to shop around.  Second, why bulldoze the whole house when only one room (15%) needs repair? Just repair the problem.

Linda - Thanks for responding.  What the breakdown of the 15% doesn't show is that many of the uninsured are young people in their 20s that don't want to pay for coverage. I can say that in my 20s that the thousands in premiums I spent on health care was definitely money flushed down the toilet - luckily my employer paid for most of it at that time.  Additionally part of the 15% is people that most likely could get on government assistance already. 

I'm not disputing there is a need for the least among us, but again the vast vast majority of the people are covered. The car insurance argument doesn't fly.  I can own 25 cars and park them in my front yard and not need insurance on any of them unless I drive them on a public road. I don't need it if I am a passanger or drive a motorcycle.  Even for the car all I need to get it in Florida is minimal PIP insurance of $10,000 to protect the other drivers on the road - and I bet with this recession that probably 1 in 3 drivers are driving around without insurance - watch out for that beat up car driving in the lane next to you - even if the cops arrest him he will be back on the road next week doing it again.  For poor people, let them join medicare or open up some free clinics around town.  How hard is that?

Sep 23, 2009 12:47 AM #8
Michael Bergin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES - Alexandria, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

I think one of the great disappointments of the health care debate is the focus on end of life care, emergency room services, etc.  Why aren't we talking about PREVENTIVE care?  Why don't we have a mindset that encourages wellness by regularly monitoring issues that can be corrected by, dare I say it, diet and exercise.  Diagnosed with diabetes, I fortunately have a doctor who read me the riot act.  And yes, with diet and exercise I have reversed what could have been life threatening - and enormously expensive.  It was up to me to take responsibility, no my insurance company.

Sep 25, 2009 08:57 AM #9
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Rob Arnold

Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F
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