Health Myth #2: “About 46 million Americans lack access to health insurance.”

This is the second in a series of commonly believed health myths based upon the research from Fox News analyst James Farrell.

More Information:

There is a difference between health care and health insurance, as Fox Business anchor Brian Sullivan points out after researching reports on health care from the Congressional Budget Office, Blue Cross-Blue Shield and Georgetown University.

Everyone has access to health care. They may not have health insurance, but the law mandates everyone who shows up at emergency rooms must be treated, insurance or not, he reports.

About 14 million of the uninsured were eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP 2003, a BlueCross-BlueShield Association study based on 2003 data estimated. These people would be signed up for government insurance if they ever made it to the emergency room, Sullivan says.

A whopping 70% of uninsured children are eligible for Medicaid, SCHIP, or both programs, a 2008 study by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute shows.

Census figures also show that 18.3 million of the uninsured were under 34 who may simply not think about the need for insurance, Sullivan reports.

And of those 46 million without insurance, an estimated 10 million or so are non-U.S. citizens who may not be eligible, according to statistics from the Census Bureau), Sullivan reports.

Here are the topics for the entire series:

    2 thoughts on “Health Myth #2: “About 46 million Americans lack access to health insurance.”

    1. Dr. Walt

      My friend, Gary Bauer, wrote:

      Today President Obama became the salesman-in-chief, traveling to New Hampshire to sell his healthcare reform bill, which is on life support amid collapsing poll numbers.

      I was skeptical that we would learn much from this town hall meeting. This White House has a history of using town hall events as staged rallies. It has a history of screening questions and pre-selecting those who can question the president.

      But President Obama made a couple of points that I want to comment on.

      First, he cleared up any confusion as to whether AARP was backing his bill. Twice he said it was.

      He began by restating the main liberal talking point: “There are 46 million of our fellow citizens who don’t have health insurance.”

      The number of uninsured individuals in America is a matter of considerable dispute, but it includes a significant percentage of non-citizens.

      Yet, today the president identified all 46 million as “our fellow citizens.”

      A significant percentage of the 46 million could afford insurance but choose not to buy it for whatever reason.

      That is their right in a free country, but maybe not for long.

      Some currently qualify for government assistance but are not enrolled.

      It seems then that our president is proposing a trillion-dollar wholesale transformation of the world’s best healthcare system to accommodate some small percentage of population who do have legitimate problems.

      Why is it necessary to risk what works so well for so many?

    2. Thomas J Reid MD FACP

      I appreciate Dr. Walt’s efforts to dispel the myths – these myths are frequently used to support aspects of a health-care reform (health-care overhaul, actually) agenda. The repeated use by policy makers of incorrect data and/or analyses amounts to nothing less than intellectual laziness.

      Thomas J Reid MD FACP
      Hematology-Oncology (in private practice)

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