Yet another argument for universal access and/or a single payer plan.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty asked an interesting question recently: "How much would it cost to provide health insurance to every Minnesotan?" Last week, he received a ballpark estimate: $663 million a year, funded by the state if the 383,000 uninsured were enrolled in MinnesotaCare.
The first reaction of Cal Ludeman, chairman of Pawlenty's health cabinet, was that the number sounded big. As a mother who wrote college tuition checks for two children last week, my kitchen-table reaction is the same: $663 million is a hefty sum.
But asking "how much?" is the right question. To put our initial sticker shock into perspective, we need to reflect on some additional numbers:
* Hospitals and clinics in Minnesota spend more than $250 million every year on uncompensated care
. As a state, we don't turn away the truly ill, whether or not they have insurance. Instead we wait until they are just that -- truly ill -- and then treat them in our emergency rooms. Where does that $250 million come from? Largely by building the uncompensated care costs into higher insurance rates the rest of us (or our employers) pay and through government subsidies.
* More than half of the 383,000 uninsured Minnesotans already are eligible for public programs such as MinnesotaCare, based on their incomes
. They have yet to enroll, but as a state we already have committed to funding their health coverage, when and if they do. It is as if half of the $663 million is on an invoice that the state could receive at any time. * The number of uninsured Minnesotans is increasing. In 2001, 5.7 percent of of the state's residents were uninsured, compared with 7.4 percent three years later. In that three-year period, 94,000 more Minnesotans were without health insurance. Much of the increase is attributable to a decline in the number of employers (particularly small employers) offering health insurance because of increasing costs.
Aug 19, '06
This cost only takes into account the cost of insuring those CURRENTLY uninsured. And then, the law of unintended consequences occurs and significant percentages of both employers and employees stop spending THEIR money on healthcare because the gov't will pick up the tab . . .
Inside of 3 yrs, your 700mn program will be a 5bn dollar program.
And then the State's budget will totally unravel. They'll make up the costs by RAISING taxes, forcing business into bankruptcy or simply leaving.
That increases unemployment which ALSO increases the uninsured. As a result, in 5 yrs, this will be a 6bn dollar program.
The problem with runaway entitlement programs is that the bill will eventually be paid. When medicare collapses, it will be paid in the loss/curtailment of healthcare. When Social Security collapses, it will be paid by returns far more diminished then they already are. Look at Europe: everybody has great benefits, secure jobs, generous leaves and pensions. That is, IF they're not one of the 20% unemployed as a result of paying for those programs. And the immigrant problems France and Britain are having? The results of massive immigration programs to prop up their collapsing social system.
What you are proposing is a pyramid scheme. It works great if you're one of the first into the system. Not so great if you're the one holding the bag. . .Rather then social systems based on 'get rich quick' schemes where effort is unrelated to benefit, our programs should be honest: if you work hard, you can get ahead. Fortunately, this is the rule in America. But, only if you work hard.
Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Aug 19, '06
Aug 19, '06
So are we saying that the United States does not have the resources for our seniors to have housing, food, and health care?
We can't afford healthcare?
Will we end up hungry and dying in our old age?
PS: We discussed this before - http://allnurses.com/forums/f100/uni...are-55103.html
Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Aug 19, '06
Aug 20, '06
Social Security is off topic and off thread. The central issue of the original article was:
1. How much would it cost to achieve universal coverage/access for the uninsured in MN?
2. The number of uninsured patients in MN is approximately 5-7%.
Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Aug 20, '06