I recently asked a number of friends, strangers, and associates if they had health insurance. More than half of them said they do not. I then asked them why they do not have health insurance. The responses other than a simple "I cannot afford it" are worth noting here:
Note: Most of the respondents are hourly wage earners
1. My employer does not offer health insurance.
2. My employer only offers a limited health insurance plan. I cannot afford the deduction from my small weekly paycheck.
3. One out of five people in the U.S. smoke cigarettes. I do not. Why should I subsidize people who deliberately want to commit slow suicide?
4. The plans offered to me at my work cover almost nothing and have a $5,000 deductible.
5. Health insurance executives are some of the highest-paid people in the U.S.. They are nothing but pirates running huge pirate ships.
6. Why bother? I can always go to the emergency room and write "Indigent" on the forms and "no fixed address" in the other blanks. They get angry but they still treat me.
7. If I get really badly hurt I will end up bankrupt even if I had health insurance.
8. Hospitals and doctors are just pushing pills for the drug firms. The side-effects of many medications will ruin your life or kill you faster than the sickness. Most hospitals are so full of germs and disease I would rather die at home than risk going there.
9. I go to teaching hospitals. My charges for services there have never been close to the annual cost of health insurance.
10. The most likely place where I will get hurt is in a car accident. I carry extra medical coverage on my auto insurance policy.
11. I am not a legal U.S. citizen, I cannot get health insurance for myself or my family. When we need doctors we just go to the emergency room like the police tell us.
12. Doctors, hospitals, and the entire U.S. health care industry are a pack of thieves.
13. We go home to India/Mexico when we need expensive surgery. Otherwise we pay out of our own pockets when we need health care.
14. When a particular member of the family gets really ill we do sign them up for health insurance and lie about pre-existing conditions. We have not been caught yet.
15. The government is about to offer Universal Health Care. We are healthy enough to wait until then.