Who are the 47 million Americans who ‘don’t have health care?”

In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 46.6 million are people without health insurance. You hear this number all the time today in discussions on what our public policy should be towards health care (particularly – socialized healthcare). But who are these 46.6 million people? Here are a couple things you probably won’t hear from politicians, whether Democratic or Republican:

  1. Of that 46.6 million, 9.5 million were not United States Citizens
  2. Another 17 million of those people live in households exceeding $50,000 and could purchase healthcare but choose to invest their money in other things.
  3. 18 million were between the age of 18-34, most in good health – and either not in need of coverage – or chose not to purchase it (that includes me for a while there). (Also, note that this stat likely overlaps with the one above as commentor Kottcamp reminded me.)
  4. 70% of the non-elderly population that become uninsured in a given year – are reinsured in less than one year.

Here are a couple other statistics about healthcare in Canada and Europe:

Canada:

  1. More than 825,000 Canadians are on waiting lists for surgery and other necessary treatments.
  2. 15 years ago the average wait for Canadians was 9 weeks – today it’s 15 weeks.
  3. Over the past 10 years, 11% of physicians trained in Canada have moved to the United States.

Britain:

  1. More than 1 million citizens are waiting for hospital admission.
  2. Another 200,000 are waiting to get on the waiting list.
  3. Each year – the national health service cancels around 100,000 operations.
  4. Britain has a government agency that’s sole purpose is to limit citizens access (rationing) to prescription drugs.

Some other important items:

  1. 85 new drugs hit the U.S. market from 1998-2002.
  2. During that same period – only 44 of those drugs became available in Europe.
  3. More than half of the 175 billion dollars in health care technology products purchased throughout the world are produced in the United States.
  4. Between 1999-2005 the United States was responsible for the sale of 71% of new pharmaceutical drugs (the next two largest – Japan and Germany accounted for only 4% each).

[ht: DC Examiner, Levin]

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5 Responses to “Who are the 47 million Americans who ‘don’t have health care?””

  1. Kottcamp Says:

    You’re right about this number being overused and misused (I had a post about this at: playingdevilsadvocate.com).

    One thing however, is that the numbers you state may not be additive:

    – 17 million live in households exceeding $50,000/yr
    – 18 million were between the age of 18-34

    It could be that most of them are the same people.

    My main problem is that the Census Bureau doesn’t take the time to take care of this overlap, and publish accurate statistics, that voters and politicians need to make good decisions.

    Without accurate statistics, you can’t make good policy; yet most politicians are willing to make drastic changes using this very flawed data.

  2. whatthecrap? Says:

    You are totally correct on that one statistic Kottcamp – I meant to mark that actually…I will add it in now. Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. Who are the 47 million Americans who dont have health care? - US Message Board Says:

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  4. Who are the 47 million Americans who dont have health care? - Page 5 - US Message Board Says:

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  5. Who are the 47 million Americans who dont have health care? - Page 7 - US Message Board Says:

    […] of new pharmaceutical drugs (the next two largest – Japan and Germany accounted for only 4% each). Who are the 47 million Americans who dont have health care? What The Crap? – whatthecrap.us I was 26 with no insurance even though I worked a full time job and was healthy, then I got a […]


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