Monday, November 18, 2002

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics about people without health insurance

The great justification usually trotted out to justify some form of national health insurance, in addition to Medicare and Medicaid, is that there are 40 million Americans without health insurance. As Iain Murray points out, it is a misleading figure:

that includes people temporarily uninsured for a brief period. The number of chronically uninsured, which is what matters here, is roughly a quarter of that figure. Moreover no-one is ever refused emergency treatment because of a lack of insurance. It is chronic illnesses that cause the most trouble for the chronically uninsured and, need I remind you, the British system of universal health coverage does not do well with chronic illnesses either. Can there be any better indication of the true state of the NHS than the fact that the BBC offers private health insurance to its employees?

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