Thursday, January 20, 2011

Health Care Repeal by the Numbers

As I watched the health repeal debate in the House yesterday, I kept asking myself: How many Americans would be effected if repeal were to actually occur? Democrats speaking against repeal insisted that the health reform law was now already helping “millions” of people.

Repealing it, therefore, would be inhumane. How many millions? What percent of the U.S. population? In a Mother Jones piece yesterday, I ran across these numbers on the impact of the present reform law in 2011.

• 4 million small business owners will be eligible to receive a tax credit for their employees in 2010. That’s 1.3% of 308.7 million Americans.

• 4 million Medicare beneficiaries will receive a $250 rebate check since the Donut Hole was closed on January 1, 2011. That another 1.3% of Americans.

• 2 million uninsured children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage – 0.65% of Americans. In 2014, 129 million Americans with pre-existing illnesses could not be denied coverage. But that’s 2014, not 2011.

• 2.4 million of young adults will now receive coverage through their parents’ plans – another 0.78% of Americans.

• 10,700 people will keep their coverage due to “recission,” which entails stripping people of coverage when payments are too costly, 0.03% of Americans.

• 18,600 to 24,700 people will hit a lifetime limit and will be denied coverage above that ceiling – 0.06% to 0.08% of Americans.

All told, according to Mother Jones, 12.4 million Americans (4.0% of the total population) will benefit from the law starting in 2011 and would suffer from repeal.

These are big numbers, but not as big as the 308.7 million Americans that the health reform law would effect. These include all of us who would pay for the individual mandate, those of us who would be compelled to switch from their present plans to plans authorized by government, and those among us who would pay $500 billion in higher taxes and health care premiums required to meet the law’s provisions.


HaynesBE said...

Thanks for doing the math.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

Unfortunately with health reform, 2 +2=5.