News Release

Uninsured Numbers Show Mandate-Based Health Reforms Don’t Work

Official estimates released Thursday by the Census Bureau showing a marginal increase in the number of Americans without health insurance in 2008 — now estimated at 46.3 million, up from 45.7 million in 2007 — mask the true dimensions of the problem, a national doctors’ group said.

Physicians for a National Health Program, a membership organization of over 17,000 physicians, states: “Significantly, in Massachusetts, where an individual-mandate health reform law, much like what President Obama is proposing on a national scale, was passed in 2006, at least 352,000 people, or 5.5 percent of the population, remained uninsured in 2008. That number was actually (but non-significantly) higher than the number of uninsured in 2007, before strict enforcement of the individual and employer mandates went into effect.”

STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER, M.D., M.P.H.
DAVID HIMMELSTEIN, M.D.
via Mark Almberg
Woolhandler and Himmelstein are professors of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program. Woolhandler said today: “The legislation championed by the president and the congressional leadership is a virtual clone of the Massachusetts plan. [The census] numbers show that plans that require people to buy private insurance don’t work. Obama’s plan to replicate Massachusetts’ reform nationally risks failure on a massive scale.”

For further information see news release and also Woolhandler’s testimony regarding the Massachusetts plan.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167