Fact Free Reporting

  • by: |
  • 08/15/2006

Today’s article in the Miami Herald about the plight of the young adults without insurance is all too typical of the way health care is covered.

Young adults ranked as least insuredWhen it comes to getting health insurance, young adults are left out compared with other age groups.


1. Anecdote

Billie Jean Delpy, 20, never considered health insurance. A hostess at a Miami Beach restaurant, she just couldn’t afford it. Then came an earache. The pain finally sent her to the Mount Sinai emergency room, resulting in a $100 prescription and a $550 bill.

”I don’t know how I’m going to pay it,” Delpy said over the conversations of passing Lincoln Road pedestrians. With her income, rent and other expenses, it will take two to three months of saving to pay the bill, she explained.

2. Definition of a problem that only a government program can solve

With few options, they end up creating the largest uninsured age group in the county, the state and much of the nation. And the numbers aren’t going down. In Florida the percentage of uninsured young adults rose by almost one=third in the last five years, according to the Florida Health Insurance Study. For a young adult just starting out this can mean crippling medical debts that take their entire careers to pay.

3. Skew the sample to the worst possible scenario

”We’re looking at people who are making $10 an hour,” Abbate said. “So even if you’re talking about a co-pay of $10 to $20 a month, that becomes a significant amount.”

4. Ignore the facts that conflict with the conclusion you are driving to:

Such as 25 percent of the uninsured are making 250 percent of the federal poverty level, about $25000 for an individual. Another 25 percent make about 150-250 percent….

5. Don’t connect the dots

The average premium for a health plan without a deductible in Miami is $120. You can get a basic plan for as little as $35 a month and with broad coverage and a $2500 deductible for $73 a month. Which means that even if you are making $15 an hour in Florida you can afford health insurance….And you sure can pay for it if you are single person making $25K or over…

6. Ignore the fact the people have some responsibility to plan for the future.

Paying off thousands of dollars of medical bills because you didn’t want to spend $73 a month? How much do you want to bet most of these folks have cell phones or cable TV? How much of the lack of health care coverage just a failure to do what is responsible?


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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