The Blog

How Many Uninsured Are There?

4:32 PM, Oct 19, 2009 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Jeffrey H. Anderson looks at the Census tables and comes up with a surprising figure:

The Census is the source for the much-cited figure of 46 million uninsured. Yet the very same table plainly indicates that 9 million of those are not US citizens. That leaves 37 million uninsured who are Americans.

But there's more. In the same document, the Census also plainly states that "health-insurance coverage is underreported" in its survey. When it cross-checked its survey results with the official Medicaid rolls, it found that 16.9 percent of those on Medicaid had claimed on their Census forms that they were uninsured. That 16.9 percent amounts to 9 million people.

So the actual tally, according to the most authoritative source we have, is just 28 million uninsured citizens (46 million minus 9 million non-citizens, minus 9 million on Medicaid who were falsely recorded as uninsured).

To be more exact, it leaves 28,157,000 uninsured out of a total of 280,209,000. That leaves us with 90 percent of American citizens covered by insurance, according to the Census.

Anderson's "small bill" alternative to Obamacare, which Ross Douthat linked to in his column today, can be found here.