How does the choice an individual makes to go without insurance impact the greater nation?
When an individual chooses to go without health insurance, it is not just a dangerous personal decision, but an expensive action foreseen by the country, as a whole. According to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, uninsured Americans require over $40 billion in healthcare annually, with a large percentage of that cost being borne by government at the federal, state, and local level. In a huge state like California, that adds up to a lot of dollars spent.
The Commission also notes that people without insurance are likely to receive only around 50 percent of the care that is available to those who are insured. Many people do not stop to realize that an uninsured individual is, in the long run, likely to spend more healthcare dollars than someone who is insured.
This is because people who do not have healthcare benefits are less likely to go the doctor when they notice a symptom because they canít afford to pay for the visit out of their own pocket. Thus, they will often try to pretend the problem is not there in hopes that it will go away. Sadly, that is often not the case. By the time the condition or injury has worsened to the point that the it can no longer be ignored, the person may already have suffered damage that canít be reversed. This can result he or she not being able to work, a domino effect ending in the person being unemployed and in debt with no way to pay their medical bills Ė not only a personal disaster but a huge drag on the economy, as well.
Addressing the problem of the uninsured is an important issue the state of California needs to consider with respect to making improvements within the health care system within the Golden State.