NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Why The Number Of Uninsureds Is Rising

October 6, 1999

When the Census Bureau reported on Monday that the number of Americans without health insurance had climbed by 1 million, President Clinton quickly blamed that development on rejection of his and the first lady's massive 1994 health plan.

However, many analysts point the finger of blame at too much government meddling in the health-care market -- which has propelled insurance coverage out of the reach of many Americans. That, they say, was true prior to defeat of the Clinton plan and is true today.

  • Medicare and Medicaid now account for more than one-fifth of all spending on health care.
  • From 1984 to 1991, health insurance costs for employees rose 67 percent, after factoring out inflation.
  • It is estimated that the average premium cost per employee will exceed $4,500 this year -- after jumping 6.1 percent last year.
  • Analysts are expecting a hike in premium costs this year in the 10 percent range.

Government actions are responsible for driving up these costs, analysts say. They cite the effects of the Kennedy-Kassebaum legislation, mandates to help the mentally ill and insure longer maternity stays, as well as programs to cover uninsured children.

Source: Editorial, "Here We Go Again," Investor's Business Daily, October 6, 1999.


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