Beware Generalization

The editorial “Reckless Rx” (Our Views, Dec. 1) cites a figure of 46 million uninsured Americans. This oft-quoted statistic is a gross overestimation, as recent research suggests the number of Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance is much lower.

A recent study by June O’Neill, who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995-1999, shows that nearly half of uninsured Americans ages 18 to 64 could likely afford to purchase health coverage.

We should not rush into the creation of a new, expensive health care system without a better understanding of the uninsured population.

Kristen Lopez Eastlick
Senior economic analyst
Employment Policies Institute
Washington, D.C.