I am more and more convinced that the “problem of the uninsured” is less about the actual price of health insurance and more about the perceived value of having coverage.

In an article from the Washington Times, Sally Pipes, president and chief executive officer of the Pacific Research Institute, confirms this theory as she explains “the five myths of health care,” starting with the “myth” of the 47 million uninsured Americans. Pipes offers a telling breakdown of the uninsured that should ease concerns about the alarming number of people without health insurance.

For those used to hearing about the 47 million desperate Americans who do not have health insurance, the demographics in the article present quite a different situation. For instance, 14 million of the uninsured are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP (they just haven’t enrolled), and another 10 million earn over $75,000 a year (meaning they have chosen not to buy health insurance).

The scenario is similar here in Texas. In recent testimony to the Senate State Affairs Committee, the Texas Department of Insurance reported that one quarter of the uninsured in Texas make more than 250% of the federal poverty level. Apparently, the number of uninsured is not as much about affordability or access to coverage as it is about making health insurance a valuable investment of people’s time and money.

– Kalese Hammonds