How Can We Help Lower The Number Of Uninsured People

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How can we help lower the number of uninsured people, specifically for employed citizens? A large problem in American society today is that many employed workers have no form of health insurance. In 2006, nearly 13 percent of full-time workers had no health insurance at any time during the year (1), and, a more recent stat, as of the end of 2014, over seven in ten of the uninsured have at least one full-time worker in their family, and an additional 12% have a part-time worker in the family (2). The lack of health insurance has a negative impact on these workers and their families. According to the KCMU analysis of the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, 27% of uninsured adults in 2014 went without needed care in the past year due…show more content…
Over two-thirds (68%) of the low- to middle-income uninsured are not confident that they can pay for the health care services they think they need (8). The impact of these workers lacking insurance also bleeds into their social and personal lives, as well as their mental health. Over a quarter (24%) of low and middle income uninsured adults said worry about medical costs affected their job performance, family relationships, or ability to sleep (7). One way to solve this problem is the proposed employer health insurance mandate. Employer based health insurance grew rapidly for a decade after World War II, then grew at a slower rate. Employment based coverage reached its peak sometime in the 1980s and has been declining since then. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, coverage of workers ages 18 through 64 fell 2.8 percentage points between 1987 and 1999 (13). Another EBRI series shows a decline of 3.5 percentage points from 1999 to 2004, and a decline of 6.3 percentage points from 1987 to 2004 (13). A prominent aspect of the proposed mandate is the “play-or-pay” rule for employers. If employers choose not to play along with the government 's mandate, it could cause trouble. This rule states: “[employers] have to offer qualified coverage and contribute a significant share toward the premium or pay a tax equal to 8
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