It's Cover the Uninsured Week, so I'll be posting something on the uninsured each day.
The Robertwood Johnson Foundation released a new report last week with standardly shocking findings about the uninsured and access to medical care.
So while others will persist with their false claims that the uninsured receive care, and therefore the problem is not immediate, remember this:
• 41% of the uninsured adults reported skipping medical care because of cost last year. This number doesn't include the 20% of children who lack health insurance.
• 23% of uninsured adults report their health as "fair" or "poor," compared with 12% of insured adults.
That percentage will tick higher and higher while we distract ourselves from solving this problem with brave new explorations into the world of Health Savings Accounts. As health costs continue to outpace inflation markedly and wages remain stagnant, fewer and fewer of the uninsured will be able to afford any medical care. State and hospital funds that currently act as reimbursement for the cost of acute treatment will cover less and less.
This trend will happen faster than we expect; insurance indicators are ticking away at incredible speed. Just as the number of employers providing health care decreased by 9% in five years, measures of the uninsured's health status will worsen.