Out of Control Policy Blog

The Uninsured Versus The Insured: Who Subsidizes Whom?

This article by John Graham at PRI provides a different look at the data on insured and uninsured health care. The key points:

--California Governor Schwarzenegger, Massachusetts Governor Patrick, and other state politicians believe – wrongly – that "covering the uninsured" will eliminate a "hidden tax" that the privately insured pay to subsidize the uninsured. --The financial crisis of hospital emergency rooms has little to do with the uninsured; rather, there is a far greater "cost shift" from beneficiaries of government health care to the privately insured. --As a group, the uninsured voluntarily pay about $60 billion worth of extra federal income taxes – explicit taxes which dwarf the hidden tax of uninsurance. --Because they use only half the health services, per person, that insured Americans use, the uninsured pay a kind of "hidden subsidy" to the insured, who over-consume health services. -- The hidden tax of overinsurance – which the insured unconsciously levy on each other, is far greater than the relatively insignificant hidden tax of uninsurance.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


« How many light bulbs does… | Main | Ban WagonóRoyal Family Edition »




Out of Control Policy Archives