NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Noncitizens Swell the Ranks of the Uninsured

October 1, 2003

The fact that 43.6 million Americans, 15.2 percent of the population, lack health insurance, is not the crisis it's being made out to be, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD). For one thing, a significant proportion of the uninsured aren't Americans:

  • Nearly 9 million of the 43.6 million uninsured are noncitizens.
  • There are more than 7 million immigrants in the United States illegally, and it would be no surprise if a large portion of the uninsured noncitizens are illegals.
  • States with the highest rates of immigration are also those with the highest rates of uninsured -- the percent of residents with no health insurance in California is 26 percent; New York, 12 percent; Texas, 10 percent; Florida, 9 percent; and New Jersey, 5 percent.

Yes, 43.6 million uninsured sounds like a lot. But, like all else, it must be understood in context, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Data Tell The Story; Health Care: Census data show that the number of Americans without insurance increased last year. While that's not good news, it's no reason to panic," Investor's Business Daily, October 1, 2003.


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