The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the number of Americans lacking health insurance fell by 3 percent last year, or 1.3 million people. An encouraging sign? Not at all, as that reduction came entirely from the expansion of government programs. According to the article, the number of people covered by government health insurance increased from 80.3 million in 2006 to 83 million last year.

Double-check my math, but if the number of people covered by government programs increased by 2.7 million, but the number of uninsured decreased by only 1.3 million, that means 1.4 million people dropped their private coverage to get on the government’s tab.

This happens every time government expands health care programs. Fiscal conservatives point out how these expansions cause government to crowd out private insurance and reduce personal responsibility, but our elected officials never listen. Well, here’s your proof: crowd-out is real and it costs taxpayers billions of dollars to pay for people who used to pay their own way.

– Kalese Hammonds