A study released Monday examines health care costs for Americans who have no health insurance, and reports on financial trends related to health care spending on the uninsured in the U.S.
Uninsured Americans will spend about $30 billion on health care in 2008, and the cost to provide health care to all uninsured Americans would amount to more than $200 billion, according to the study Covering the Uninsured in 2008: Current Costs, Sources of Payment, and Incremental Costs, authored by researchers at George Mason University and the Urban Institute. The Wall Street Journal says the study, published Monday on the Health Affairs journal website, is likely to trigger dialogue on rising health care costs and prospects for reforming the health care system. An abstract of the study reads in part: "People uninsured for any part of 2008 spend about $30 billion out of pocket and receive approximately $56 billion in uncompensated care while uninsured. Government programs finance about 75 percent of uncompensated care. If all uninsured people were fully covered, their medical spending would increase by $122.6 billion." (View the full text of the study on the Health Affairs website).
Reuters reports that "47 million Americans lack any health insurance, and 28 million have gone without for some part of the year."