Mar 23 2009
11:20 am

This week is national Cover the Uninsured Week. Awareness is great, but we have this every year and nothing changes.

Where Tennesseans get health insurance:

• Employer: 3,004,975
• Individual: 306,748
• Medicaid: 886,699
• Medicare: 821,009
• Other Public: 140,469
• Uninsured: 845,728

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

According to the latest figures available from the Kaiser Family Foundation (2007) there were 845,728 uninsured in Tennessee (14% of the population). Nationwide, there are 45,657,193 uninsured (15% of the population). It's likely much worse than these figures suggest given the current employment situation.

Here's a summary of Tennessee's programs for those who don't get insurance from their employer or who can't get insurance at all for one reason or another.

Leaving the problem for states to solve is not working. With our state legislature, Tennessee's uninsured are more likely to get free handgun carry permits than insurance.

Here's my plan to cover the uninsured:

1. Divorce health insurance from employment
2. ?

Consultants, health insurance companies and others have lots of seminars and programs to help employers "manage employee health care." Businesses shouldn't be in the business of managing employee health care. They should be managing their business. And employees shouldn't be slaves to their employer provided health care. Beyond that, I don't know the answer. Medicare for everyone?

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

These physicians have the right answer

Physicians for a National Health Program have by far the best, most comprehensive proposal, published back in 2003 in the Journal of the American Medical Association:


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