NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 29, 2006

Experts with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) estimate that taxpayers spend a large portion of their tax bill every year on free care for those without health insurance.

Estimates vary depending on how the uninsured are calculated, but most experts agree:

  • Free care spending on the full-time uninsured range from $1,049 to a high of $1,548.
  • At this rate, federal and state government's physicians and non-profit hospitals spend as much as $6,000 on charity care per uninsured family of four.
  • According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, total spending on uncompensated care was $41 billion in 2004; of this, $30 billion was on individuals uninsured for an entire year.

"Instead of turning to taxpayers to solve the uninsured problem, we should use the free care money taxpayers are already providing to subsidize the purchase of private insurance," says Devon Herrick, senior fellow with the NCPA.  "This is precisely what Mitt Romney is trying to do in Massachusetts."

  • Additionally, notes the NCPA, the uninsured pay higher taxes because they do not receive the tax subsidies of employer-provided health insurance.
  • However, their higher taxes are sent to Washington, D.C., while the free care is provided locally.

"We should allocate the higher taxes the uninsured pay to any free care they require due to their inability to pay their medical bills," says Herrick.

Source: "Solution for the Uninsured: Use the Free Care Money, Says NCPA's Herrick," National Center for Policy Analysis, August 29, 2006


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