President Obama and his minions are continually throwing this very deceptive figure out: that according to the Census Bureau, there were 46 million uninsured Americans in 2007—about 15.3 percent of the population. It’s actually about 16 million, or about 5 percent of the population.
Those carefully chosen few privileged to interview him (see the recent Jim Lehrer interview on News Hour which prompted this letter), never call him on it.
The difference between 16 million and 46 million: the millions of people who qualify for but do not take government insurance benefits already offered, the population making more than $50,000 a year who are uninsured, and uninsured non-citizens.
The majority of people (59.3 percent) purchase plans through their employer and forgo direct purchases. Plans provided by private insurers directly to consumers only account for about 8.9 percent of total purchases; a very small percentage of the overall private market.
Over 27 percent of Americans are covered by taxpayer financed public insurance. These Americans are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, State-Child’s Health Insurance Programs, military health care, and sometimes a combination of these options.
Through war, an influx of immigration, and a number of recessions the uninsured rate has stayed relatively constant, moving between 12 and 16 percent since 1987.
Of the 46 million people without insurance 12.4 million were foreign born, of which 9.7 million were non-citizens. According to the Census Bureau, the number of illegal immigrants without insurance is difficult to calculate accurately, but it is believed to be the largest factor contributing to climbing uninsured rates in recent years.
Of the 46 million uninsured, 17.5 million had a household income greater than $50,000 per year in 2007 and 9.1 million had incomes over $75,000. These Americans did not qualify for public insurance, given their incomes, and have elected to stay out of the private insurance market. This correlates with the fact that about 40 percent of all uninsured Americans are between the ages of 25-44.
Ref. Sources of insurance analysis: http://www.freedomworks.org/publications/the-sources-of-insurance-issue-analysis-126