Why people don’t have health insurance
Jim B. raised an interesting question in a comment on the satirical Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Universal Healthcare. He’d known someone who was affluent enough not to need health insurance. Thus, he reasoned, perhaps I exaggerated the case when implying that people who don’t have insurance wish they did.
Fortunately, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides clarifying data. Here’s the CDC chart, which can be seen in context at the CDC’s website.
QuickStats: Reasons for No Health Insurance Coverage* Among Uninsured Persons Aged <65 Years — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2004†
* Based on response to a survey question regarding the reasons a household member stopped being covered by health insurance or did not have health insurance. Persons might be counted in more than one category.
† Estimates are age adjusted using the 2000 projected U.S. population as the standard population and using four age groups: 0–11 years, 12–17 years, 18–44 years, and 45–64 years. Estimates are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population.
§ 95% confidence interval.
¶ Includes moved, self-employed, never had coverage, did not want or need coverage, and other unspecified reasons.
The answer, then? What percentage did not desire health insurance? We can’t tell exactly, but they are a subgroup of the “Other” category (see the paragraph just above, where I added emphasis). In other words, they comprise some fraction of 6% of un-insured Americans under age 65.
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Tags: CDC, no+health+insurance, without+health+insurance, universal+health+care, single+payer+health+care, Monte Asbury