A Minimum of $14,150/Person

Everyone agrees that 85% of Americans now have healthcare. There are roughly 308,000,000 (308 million) people in the U.S. The Democrats and the CBO tell us that their plan will extend coverage to 94% of all Americans. Doing the math shows that their proposed plan will cover an additional 31 million people of the 45 million not currently covered.

Let’s review who these people are: The following statistics come from the United States Census Bureau. In this country there are:
Non-citizens (not covered) ………………….10 million
Those making over $50,000/year ……….17 million
not having healthcare
Those currently eligible for ………………..12 million
public assistance not using it

TOTAL: ………………………………39 million

Also 45% of all people uninsured are in this status for 4months or less.

This means there are approximately 29 million people currently not covered who could have coverage if they so desired. (Throw out the 10 million non-citizens) This leaves 6 million citizens not on healthcare who will be added to coverage under the proposed plan that actually desire to have coverage.

Using the cost given by the CBO of 849 billion over 10 years this breaks down to costing $14,150 per year for each new American covered who actually desires coverage. And this does not consider the $200 billion doctor fix in the bill (this is a biggie), the cuts in Medicare coverage to millions of Americans, and all the other bureaucratic layers to be introduced in the over 2,000 page bill.


  1. Randy – I’m not an CPA but it seems to me, from what you have presented, is that the current system could be retained and the β€œholes” in the current system could be fixed, maybe the government could outright purchase insurance for those not covered, for much less expense than a government run healthcare system with its expense and additional layers of cost that are likely to be introduced by it.

  2. What about the millions of Americans who have coverage that is not adequate? I know of a number of families who can not afford “good” insurance. How would in work in your family if all you had was a plan that had a $6,000 or $10,000 deductible EACH year? These families can not afford to take their kids (or themselves) in to the doctor when something is wrong, or that have to worry about what bills they are not able to pay because their child got sick!

    These families are considered “insured”, but are they really? Don’t forget about them in this equation either.

  3. Kelly, while that statement can tug on heartstrings, it’s not very specific. Before I’d enter into debate, I’d want facts, not feelings.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    There is nothing I know of in any of the proposed health plans that will provide more coverage. In fact there are many factors that will most likely reduce benefits or require higher co-pays. And a $6,000 deductable plan, while not ideal, can be a good way to go because the premiums are much less and at least you have a fixed cost. Usually this is called catastrophic insurance and at least limits your loses.
    There is nothing in the proposed plan to provide “good” insurance, as you call it.

    To my knowledge it is rare that a really sick person cannot find general medical care in this country.

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    You’re right if people’s healthcare is your goal. However, it could be argued this is about future votes, politics, control, and egos.

  6. Randy in Richmond says:

    From what I read there are all sorts of fees and charges for businesses and individuals who choose not to play the healthcare game. Can you imagine the entanglement of bureaucracies that would be necessary to try and collect these monies.

    And let’t not forget, this is not a final plan. I would suggest the abortion fees and aspects of the ‘public plan’ were included in the Reid version knowing they can be negotiated down or out to placate for final passage when the two bills go to committee.

    This is the final straw now. If Reid gets his 60 votes those of us on the opposite side are done.

  7. Eliminating denying for pre-existing conditions is just one example of extension of coverage in this bill, Randy.

    “Those of us on the opposite side are done.”

    Now you know how we felt.

  8. True about the 60 votes. It’s going to be another tense weekend!

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    Cindy, some of the moderate Democrats will be saying they voted to close the filibuster on Reid’s bill so the issue can be debated on the floor. Of course this is a total cop out as they know the consequences of such a move. Once on the floor only 51 votes will be needed for passage and Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), and others will most likely vote against the bill to help assure their own re-elections. I would not at all be surprised to see Vice President Biden cast the deciding 51st vote to allow as many Democrats as possible to protect themselves when the final vote comes up in the future.

    And just as in the House’s final vote there will be no vote this weekend until the 60th vote is assured and in the bag to close the filibuster.

  10. Oh, I know that. A vote for cloture guarantees passage. I’ve held out a lot of hope this thing will slam into a brick wall, but if it’s still alive after the cloture vote, all hope will be gone.

  11. My comment raises a true concern about the availaiblity of healthcare in this country. People who are self employed, work for small companies, or are out of work may not have access to the good group plans that employees of larger employers are lucky enough to have access to. When you are self employed (or your employer does not offer health insurance), you have to find coverage on your own. Without being able to pool your health history into a larger group, your premiums can be astronomically high. Many people in this situation choose to only carry the catastrophic coverage because that is the only option that allows them to also pay for housing and other everyday essentials.

    A few years ago, my husband’s office dropped family coverage and opted only to cover the employees. I had to find insurance for me and my newborn child. Our insurance premiums topped $400 a month for just the two of us over 5 years ago. I had to pay an additional premium so that if I became pregnant during the first year of coverage, I could have that pregnancy be covered.

    My parents had to be self insured (Dad’s company went out of business, so no COBRA for him) and the only insurance that they could find for two relatively healthy 58-59 year olds was over $1,700 per month (that’s right $1700 a month – more than most mortgage payments!!), and that didn’t cover much.

    Friends of ours run their own businesses. They would love to provide health benefits to their employees, but they can not afford it. They themselves have a $10,000 deductible plan and still the premiums on THAT plan are very high. They think twice about having to run to the doctor for anything other than a well child checkup because of the cost.

    A neighbor shared with me that they have a plan that has a $6,000 deductible and are in the same boat when it comes to taking their kids to anything that requires urgent care.

    These are the specific examples of people who could benefit from a change in the health care plans in this country.

    For all of these examples, people WANT better coverage, but need something more affordable so that they can take care of their families. I realize how fortunate we are to have the health care that we have currently in our family. But just because my health care bills aren’t as bad as they could have been at our previous employer doesn’t mean that I am willing to turn a blind eye to those who aren’t as lucky.

    These are not stories to pull at heartstrings, they are the devestating reality for thousands of families in our communities. Something needs to be done to make healthcare (GOOD healthcare) more affordable. Thank goodness our government is at least attempting to bring additional options to the table.

  12. Kelly, it doesn’t matter what you say. Randy’s strategy is to make it sound like this isn’t that big of a deal and that not that many are uninsured. They argue that most uninsured are illegal immigrants or choose to do so.

    That being said, thanks for sharing your stories. Similarly, I am uninsured and know personally the very few options that exist for me currently. Pulling on heart strings isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes we need to step back and look at not only the numbers, figures, and rhetoric–but the human cost of inaction.

  13. 1. $400 a month was a heck of a bargain.
    2. So write a law that lets groups pool resources more effectively.
    3. It’s a cost of doing business for your dad and anyone else self-employed.
    4. There’s no way in heck you’ll get the change you want. You’re already insured! Still won’t stop you from thinking you’ll come out ahead. I dare you to write back in 2013 after you deal with the reality.

  14. Lorax, you are uninsured but you are not without health care. As a college student you can stumble into the campus doctor during regular hours. Anything else you just show up at an emergency room and you’re treated.

    How bad can that be?

  15. Randy in Richmond says:

    Actually Lorax, my strategy is that if you have a flat tire and need a new battery, you don’t design a new car. For the great majority of Americans this boondoggle will not be an improvement.

    You refer to how “at least the government is bringing options to the table.”
    Please tell me what federal agency or department you want the “government” to model the operation and funding of their healthcare plans after? Thanks

  16. Kelly – Is this the “good” health care you are referring to?


  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    That article hits a home run Libby. Unfortunately it is probably a foretaste of what’s to come, at least in the short term.

  18. Wow. I think that the Lorax and I are the only dissenting opinions on this one so far. Is it safe to assume that the rest have always had excellent health insurance and income that is substantial enough to pay for it?

    Here’s an attempt to respond:

    Randy (comment 4) – yes, all sick people get treatment in this country. It’s because it is part of the “universal” healthcare that we all ALREADY pay for. It most likely would have cost less if the sick person had been able to afford going to the doctor for treatment earlier. There’s got to be a better way to make things more affordable for people.

    1) remember this was 5 years ago. Insuring a 20 something woman and a one month old. To go from an employer based plan where our portion was minimal to shouldering the full cost of coverage at the same time that our budget was cut drastically (I had just chosen to stay home with our newborn and left my well paying job) was a fairly devestating blow to our household finances. We didn’t stay with that employer for much longer and moved out of state shortly thereafter. But, hey, if we had stayed, I would never have know about this blog. That would have been awful! πŸ˜‰

    2) I think that people have been asking for that for a while too. The previous administration had 8 years to address this issue, suggest options, and implement changes. The fact of the matter is that they didn’t. Now, at least there are options on the table, even if you don’t like them.
    3)My dad was laid off when his company went under. He had no choice. He’s worked hard his entire life and got screwed by a big company that made terrible decisions. He spent almost a year unemployed spending an astronomical amount on insurance. What other options were available to him?

    As for people who are self-employed, small businesses run this country. They are the source of local jobs and innovation. Yes, health insurance is a cost of business. However, in the current set-up, how many businesses have had to close, not hire more people, or just didn’t get started because of the staggering cost of health insurance? Just because it’s how things are doesn’t mean that it is right.

    4)How is the fact that I want better options for everyone separate and at odds with the fact that I have insurance now? I’m not sure I understand your point here.

    Libby – This is a link to an opinion piece. But there is more to it than that. I feel that this recommendation is being viewed through a skewed lens because of the healthcare issue that is already a hotly debated topic. I have had many conversations with family about this this week and we are a little torn on the subject. More research is needed on my part so I haven’t formed a strong opinion on this yet.

    No healthcare system is perfect, nor do I expect it to be. But in my opinion, the system we have currently not one that can be allowed to continue. Sure, it is a great setup for a lot of people, but the ones who are not “lucky” enough shouldn’t be left out in the cold.

  19. I didn’t even read beyond your first paragraph, Kelly. Be glad you landed on a blog that will allow your dissenting opinion. (Oh, dear, I see “8 years” up there. There’s a little Bush Bashing going on, eh? That usually only happens if you are starting to lose your argument.) Anyway, good luck making your point, but don’t expect a lot of us to agree. If you stick around for goodness sake don’t whine when people don’t bow before your opinion.

  20. Kelly,

    Why are you up so late?!

    Yes…it does seem as though you and Lorax are the only dissenting opinions here. Of course, Lorax is young and since he has yet to actually deal with the practical applications of life in the “real world” (outside of college) he has a small pass for his misguided views. πŸ˜‰

    You tell Randy that there has “got to be a better way to make things more affordable for people.” What you are implying is “equal,” or more fair.

    However, you neglect to acknowledge that for “things” (and the word “things” covers any goods or services) to be more affordable to some, they must then become more costly to others (as in profit margins, taxes paid in or – in the mammogram debate – potential risk.)

    I understand that it was frustrating to pay a larger percentage of your household income to cover health insurance when your husband’s company changed their benefits – but the fact that it was a devastating blow to your household finances was because you made a CHOICE to stay home. (Don’t get me wrong…it is a choice I FULLY applaud, having done so myself.)

    You have to admit that the blow would have been much more devastating had your husband lost his job instead. The company obviously had to make choices about what they could afford and chose to cut benefits instead of entire paychecks. Consider yourself lucky. (Again…more affordable to some = more costly to others.)

    Your neighbors/friends are also making choices about how they wish to spend their money. They are choosing to be more cautious about spending it on health care costs. (Of course, you can’t help but wonder if your neighbor is instead choosing to spend their money on fun things like cable tv, dinners out, or a vacation they “deserve”). Sadly, so many people do when they apply short-sighted definitions to the word “need.”

    Now sometimes, things happen where people do not make a choice (like your father’s situation)…but the fact remains that he did still have health care, and so do many others who are counted as the “uninsured.”

    Actually, you are expecting the health care system to be perfect…because you are expecting everyone to have exactly the same.

  21. Libby – I think Kelly is on a different time zone. It wouldn’t be that late for her!

    FC is a national blog you know. πŸ˜‰

  22. I should have your luck!

  23. Oh, if I remember correctly your traffic is rather global already. Ready for a link?

  24. Sure! πŸ™‚

  25. Cindy-

    I appreciate the dissenting opinions on this site. It is what makes the blog interesting. Sometimes I even decide to participate and jump in!

    To say that I threw in the “8 years” because I am losing in my argument? Isn’t that a little like the pot calling the kettle black? This site dismisses the current administration at every turn. I don’t see much difference between me not agreeing with the actions of the previous administration and you not agreeing with this one. It doesn’t mean that I am “losing” my argument. That would imply that you are “right” in your beliefs on all fronts and that I am not.

    So, discussion, yes please. Bowing, no thank you.

  26. Oooh – pot calling kettle – another failing argument technique. If I’d used that you’d retort I’m race baiting.

    Your arguments are incredibly predictable, Kelly, and given this really isn’t a national blog, I’d have to wonder exactly how you landed here.

  27. Libby-
    Cindy is correct (dear goodness did those words just pass my lips/fingertips??) – I’m in a different time zone.

    Aforementioned Dad and Mom live in beautiful sunny CA and I travel with the kids out here a few times a year. This happens to be one of those times. I am rather enjoying the sunny days and taking the kids to the park and beach. Hubby will be joining us this time and Disney is on the itinerary on Monday, Jimmy Kimmel and dinner in Hollywood on Tuesday,and a big turkey dinner on Thursday. Kind of a last hurrah though.

    This vacation spot for us will be going away since my parents will be moving soon. The year of being unemployed and paying more for health insurance than on their mortgage has worn them down financially. Accepting the first job that came along (for the benefits) has been devestating on different fronts (turns out that his boss is a seriously verbally abusive man who has terrified his employees for years), so they are starting the process of find greener pastures by returning to the midwest.

    Onto the topic at hand. I think that this is the fundamental question that defines this debate. Do you think all people in this country should have access to basic healthcare or not? My answer is yes. There should be something available to everyone if they can’t get it somewhere else. Will it cost more, probably. Am I willing to pay more? yes. Right now our dollars go to pay for unneccessary ER visits because people don’t have access to less costly forms of preventative medicine. I’d rather take those dollars and actually treat people before the problem becomes serious, and leave the ER open to those who actually need it for emergency situations.

    So, yes, the “uninsured” do have health insurance, it’s called the Kelly and Libby (and Cindy and Randy, etc) plan. We are currently shouldering the financial burden.

    I understand that our initial health care situation was as a result of a choice on my part. I was already at home though when the costs increased. We didn’t have the luxury of having that significant piece of info when we were deciding that I would stay home. It very well could have factored into our decision.

    As an aside, in this particular situation, no one at my husband’s job was going to lose their job. The office had less than 10 people at it in total. The people in charge were just money hungry and were looking for additional ways to help make down payments on the million dollar mansions and fancy cars and private jet – not kidding – that they were purchasing. Pretty tough to take when you watch the work you do help bring cash in the door for the “higher-ups'” extravagent lifestyle while they give you the big middle finger and cut “office expenses”. ANYway…..

    The point that I am making is that situations change. Families are already struggling to get by, when there is as big of a variable cost as health insurance sitting out there, it’s tough for a family to manage and plan.

    People fundamentally are trying to make good decisions about how to take care of their families. Yes there are bad apples (that have cable and eat out and take vacations), but there will be no matter what we can’t legislate based on the bad apples. I just think that families shouldn’t have to struggle between taking little Tommy to the doctor or paying the rent/mortgage or electric bill. That is not a CHOICE that any of us would want to have to make.

    Why can’t we make some fundamental changes as to how our healthcare system is run and give people a fighting chance?

  28. Oh, in that case I know how you got here!

    Absolutely our health care system could use some fundamental changes. Do you really think that’s what’s in the 2,000 page + bills going around? I don’t. I see either version adding layers to an onion instead of peeling them away to get to the core of good policy.

    There is simply no way a government with as many problems as ours can efficiently manage a health care system. No way.

  29. Kelly – have a GREAT time at Disney!!! I’m jealous.

    As for the health care debate…maybe we can at least agree on this:

    Congressman John Fleming ( Louisiana physician) has proposed an
    amendment that would require congressmen and senators to take the same
    health care plan they force on us (under proposed legislation they are
    curiously exempt).

    Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go on his Website and
    sign his petition (very simple – just first, last and email). I have
    immediately done just that at:

    If Congress forces this on the American people, the Congressmen should
    have to accept the same level of health care for themselves and their
    families. To do otherwise is the height of hypocrisy!

  30. Hey Libby,

    I know you were joking, but I assure you I’ve dealt with plenty of the “real world” already. But hey, it’s easy to pigeonhole. Walk a mile in another man’s shoes, etc.

    But seriously, I think the bill could be better. But that’s the nature of our system.

    You want simple and less layers, Cindy? Single payer would be the simplest system, and it’s the most cost-effective. I don’t think you’re really looking for simplicity or good policy, though.