Most Could Afford Catastrophic Health Coverage

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A top issue for Congress next year is healthcare accessibility. But a little-known fact about healthcare is that many Americans who lack healthcare could afford coverage–at least for the most expensive illnesses––and choose not to have it.

According to the website simplecare.com, "In 2004, minimum health insurance for a family cost around $9,000/year. Catastrophic health insurance cost around $3,000/year."

Census data for 2005 show there were some 45 million Americans lacking healthcare coverage. Only 15 million of them come from households with annual incomes of $25,000 or less. If the government were to spend $3,000 on catastrophic care for these families, that right there would solve the true healthcare crisis in the United States, and economically so.

An additional 15 million Americans without health insurance live in households earning $50,000 annually or more. As Congress revisits health insurance next year, we must reach a national consensus that families earning $25,000 or more can spend $3,000 on catastrophic health insurance premiums.

If they don't choose to buy it for themselves, middle-class taxpayers should not be forced to buy it for them. When politicians come to understand this, they will "get it" on healthcare.