Healthcare News

| Tue Aug. 26, 2008 12:25 PM EDT

HEALTHCARE NEWS....The percentage of Americans without health insurance went down last year. Hooray! Except for this:

Before anybody gets the idea that we no longer need health care reform, take a closer look at the numbers. Enrollment in private insurance continued to decline in percentage terms, mostly because the percentage of people with employer-sponsored coverage fell from 59.7 to 59.3. The reason the overall numbers look good is rising enrollment in public insurance programs, particularly Medicaid.

This is, in the end, a good reason for even conservatives to support (or at least not get too bent out of shape about) healthcare reform along the lines Barack Obama has proposed. The alternative, like it or not, is probably a steady increase in Medicaid and emergency room use, and even on conservative grounds a decently designed universal system would be a better alternative than that.

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