One might think they would have inquired about this before enacting a remedy, but there you have it.
Turns out 92% of them can be divided into three segments: The biggest cluster (47.8% of all the uninsured) are “healthy and young.” They are not much motivated to enroll and they take their health for granted.
And in fact the uninsured are a varied lot – 59.9% of them are workers, 26.1% are not, and 13.9% are children.
Rather than treating them like criminals for not doing what we think they should, we should treat them like potential customers.
If they don’t like what is currently available, perhaps that is more of a commentary on the products than on the people who don’t buy.
A study a few years ago in the journal Health Affairs found that one-third of all children eligible for Medicaid or S-CHIP had been enrolled in the program in the previous year but their parents didn’t bother re-enrolling them.
It wasn’t that they didn’t know about it or they didn’t know how to enroll. Obviously these people will continue to receive care whether they are insured or not, so the primary rationale for mandatory coverage – solving the “free rider” problem – will not be solved.
They will wait till they feel poorly and roll down to the emergency room like they always have because that is where the doctors are.
In Massachusetts the use of emergency department services went up, not down, after the mandate went into effect there.
If health reform did not include universality it was not worth pursuing, in their view. It is based on Census Bureau numbers from 1994 through 2012.
About fifteen percent of the population won’t comply.
They can’t read a contract, can’t keep an appointment to see a doctor, and can’t follow prescribed treatment programs.