Treating The Uninsured Essay

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According to the United States Census Bureau, roughly 55% obtain insurance through an employer, while about 10% purchase it directly. About 31% of Americans were enrolled in a public health insurance program: 14.5% (45 million – although that number has since risen to 48 million) had Medicare, 15.9% (49 million) has Medicaid, and 4.2% (13 million) had military health insurance (there is some overlap, causing percentages to add up to more than 100%). The percentage of non-elderly workers with employer-sponsored coverage has been falling, from 68% in 2000 to 61% in 2009, the latest year for which data is available. While the primary cause of falling rates of insurance is the rising cost of health care for employers, the economic downturn since…show more content…
Another 9.7 million are non-citizens, but the Census Bureau does not distinguish in its estimate between documented and undocumented migrants. It has been estimated that nearly one fifth of the uninsured population is able to afford insurance, almost one quarter is eligible for public coverage, and the remaining 56% need financial assistance (8.9% of all Americans). An estimated 5 million of those without health insurance are considered "uninsurable" because of pre-existing conditions The costs of treating the uninsured must often be absorbed by providers as charity care, passed on to the insured via cost-shifting and higher health insurance premiums, or paid by taxpayers through higher taxes. Since people who lack health insurance are unable to obtain timely medical care, they have a 40 percent higher risk of death in any given year than those with health insurance, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study estimated that in 2005 in the United States, there were 45,000 deaths associated with lack of health insurance. A Johns Hopkins Hospital study found that heart transplant complications occurred most often amongst the uninsured, and those patients who had private health plans fared better than those covered by Medicaid or

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