DEALING WITH KANSAS' UNINSURED
March 23, 2007
Kansas, like many states, faces a significant problem in the lack of health insurance among some of its citizens. The problem is sizeable and persistent and threatens to grow in the future, says Michael Bond, an adjunct fellow with the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy.
- Nationally, estimates as to the number of uninsured range from 20 to 80 million.
- More consistent estimates show a much narrower range between 41.1 million and 46 million for 2003.
- In Kansas, a recent estimate indicates that over 10 percent of the population lacks coverage; the majority of these Kansans, as in the United States, are adults.
There is some reason to question these totals. Many of the national numbers of over 45 million that are thrown out exaggerate the number of uninsured for a host of reasons, explains Bond:
- Many are uninsured for just a few days in a two year period.
- Many are eligible for Medicaid and the State Children's Health Plan but do not enroll.
- Many have substantial incomes but choose not to purchase insurance.
Nonetheless, these factors merely mitigate what remains a real problem and logically dictate that reducing the uninsured requires reforms in the small group (and individual) insurance market, providing subsidies to buy coverage, and finding ways to enroll the Medicaid eligible, says Bond.
Source: Michael Bond, "Dealing With Kansas' Uninsured," Flint Hills Center, Policy Paper, March 20, 2007.
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