Long overdue blogging on Hillary’s proposed health insurance scheme, the SCHIP proposals, and health care in America.
SCHIP and various forms of government-funded health care are aimed at providing health insurance for those who do not get such coverage through their employers and cannot afford private insurance. The cost of private insurance varies widely by state and by age; some states have low-cost, basic plans for people who cannot afford expensive care. A representative sampling is here.
In Manhattan, an individual cannot purchase health insurance for less than $10,000/year. Clearly, that is a problem with NY laws, which do not permit managed care organisations to charge lower premiums to healthy 25-year-olds than to the elderly or the chronically ill. A 30-year-old, nonsmoking, female resident of SoCal, however, can get basic coverage for approximately $600/year.
According to the Census, more than 8 million people in the US who are uninsured can “afford it,” as they earn more than $75,000/year. This may be true for some areas; however, a family who lives in New York and self-insures would have to pay $29,250/year – which is approximately 1/3d of pre-tax income. That is not necessarily affordable nor practical.
It is against this backdrop that we ought to analyse proposals to change our health care system (most call for increasing government regulation); query whether there is a health care crisis in America, or just certain states.