The United States could have 23 million uninsured residents in 2019, even if health reform takes effect and works as hoped, according to the in-house actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
About 5 million of the uninsured people would be undocumented aliens, but 18 million would be people who would simply chooe not to be insured, CMS Chief Actuary Richard Foster writes in a memorandum.
Some of the uninsured people would be workers who refused employer-sponsored group coverage, but most would be healthy people in the individual market who would rather pay a relatively low penalty to avoid paying more for health coverage, Foster writes.
The CMS Office of the Actuary analysis is based on the version of H.R. 3200, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 bill, that was reported by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Other CMS Office of the Actuary predictions:
- Although the United States would still have 23 million uninsured people in 2019 if H.R. 3200 worked as expected, the country probably would have about 57 million uninsured people in 2019 if current laws stay in effect.
- The number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage would be 169 million in an H.R. 3200 world, and 166 million in a current-law world.
- The number of people with individual health coverage or National Health Insurance Exchange coverage would be 38 million in an H.R. 3200 world, and 26 million in a current-law world.