Existential Threats
Pardon Me

32 Million

By Jonathan B. Wight

What do these cities have in common?

Cities

Yes – they’re the largest 19 cities in the nation, comprised of about 32 m. people.  And if Obamacare is repealed next week as planned by the Senate leadership, 32 million people will eventually lose health insurance coverage, according to the CBO.  17 million would lose their health insurance next year alone.

To be fair, some of these are young and would be thrilled to lose the mandate to buy something they don’t want.  But the vast majority of these would involuntarily lose it through reductions in Medicaid. 

The loss of insurance doesn’t mean there would be an immediate health crisis, because uninsured people do go to emergency rooms. It does mean that the public cost of treating those 32 million uninsured will likely be much higher.  And over the long haul we would expect to see problems with patients not staying on medication and not going for follow-ups or not receiving preventive care.  Sicker people means lowering of worker productivity and tax revenues from growth.  It seems very short-sighted and anti-progress to go down this path.  

So, when you’re wondering what 32 million “means” in relation to the U.S. population, it’s a whopping 10 percent of the population.  It would be equivalent to ripping health insurance from everyone living in our largest 19 cities and is a horrific concept.  It is no less horrific to realize that many people who will lose it are likely to be in poor rural areas. 

Comments

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Yet, a majority of lawmakers considers this either a) good for themselves or b) good for their definition of social welfare. Which one is it?

And a side question: Do the health-care-through-free-market advocates in Congress not understand asymmetric information and adverse selection or do they think that a free-market failing is still better than government intervention?

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