Nearly Half Of Uninsured Can Afford To Pay

Posted on January 15, 2010

The Dec. 29 opinion piece “Both parties to blame for big government,” cites a figure of 47 million uninsured Americans. This oft-quoted statistic is actually a gross overestimation of the problem, as recent research suggests the number of Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance is much lower.

A new study by Dr. June O’Neill, who served as Director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995-1999, shows that nearly half of those uninsured Americans could likely afford to purchase health coverage. The average “voluntarily uninsured” household makes $65,000 per year.

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

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