Monday, August 17, 2009

Dwindling Employer Sponsored Health Insurance Coming from the Blue Team?

A leading liberal blogger encouraged everyone to tell their friends about the above flowchart on health reform. What Matt Yglesias didn't say is how it compares to the latest Census data on the insured and uninsured.

Employers provided coverage for 177.4 million people in 2007, over 55 million more than the 122 million projected in the chart. That would be a 31% drop in employer based coverage.

Medicaid covered 39.6 million in 2007. Adding the 23% uninsured who are Medicaid eligible drives drives the number up 10.5 million, to 50 million. Medicare covered 41.4 million in 2007 and that number is projected to grow with America's aging baby boomers. That's over 91.4 million combined, substantially greater than the 78 million projected for Medicare/Medicaid in the chart.

The last two boxes on the right total 99.5 million, with 72 million garnering some form of subsidy. Only 10%, or 7.2 million, are projected to be in the public option. The latest government data shows 45.7 million uninsured, although estimates peg the figure around 51 million.

This chart shows huge swings in who's paying for coverage, completely missed by Matt. I surmised health care reform was a ruse to allow employers to bail on that pesky health insurance benefit. I thought a tapped out federal government would have difficulty picking up the tab. Little did I know, it won't cover those who currently qualify.

The flowchart drives home my points. All signs point to the individual shouldering a greater burden. Is it a pundit data error or the plan?

New Census numbers will be out September 10 (about three weeks later than prior years). When did Max Baucus promise to have a bill ready? September 15, or later. Things will heat up...

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