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Editor's Correspondence
January 8, 2001

Health and Health Insurance

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(1):128. doi:

I read the article "Health Insurance and Access to Care for Symptomatic Conditions" by Baker et al1 with interest. In my opinion, the study does not support the conclusions.

First, who are the uninsured? The unemployment rate is now below 4%, including those "seasonal workers" who are drawing unemployment a few months per year. Job-related health care benefits are being offered even to "entry level" employees at a far higher rate than ever before. Omitting students who are not covered by family policies, most of the remaining uninsured are entrepreneurs (eg, small-business owners, farmers, and ranchers) who find it difficult to justify a $6000 per year plus expense that may never get used and have elected to pay as the need arises. Certainly, they would like to have insurance, but they do their own deductions and would definitely be opposed to any additional tax burden.

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