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Insuring America:
An Annotated Bibliography
Cassie Law
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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"Affordable Health Care: Conditions Critical for Self-Employed, Study Shows." NASE. 18 June 2002. National Association for the Self-Employed. 10 Oct. 2004 <http:// news.nase.org/>. According to the National Association for the Self-Employed the cost and availability of health care for small businesses is causing panic in business owners. "Census data indicates that among the estimated 43 million Americans without health insurance, 62 percent (24.5 million) are from families in which the head of household is self-employed or working for a company with fewer than 100 employees" (1). Because small businesses are required to pay significantly more for health insurance than big businesses and have few options when choosing health care plans it results in fewer small businesses with employee health insurance. To help solve the problem, business owners would like more options and possibly tax credits. Micro-businesses also believe that by being able to "…deduct their premiums as a business expense" it would allow more room for health care coverage (2). Although short, the issues and possible solutions are covered well.

Bodenheimer, Thomas. "Insuring the Uninsured: Will the 2004 Election Provide an Answer?" Annals of Internal Medicine 141.7 (2004): 556-61. Americans believe the government should endorse a plan that allows all individuals health care coverage; however, no one wants taxes increased to make sure of it. There are three types of health care coverage: Medicaid and Medicare, employer provided insurance, and private insurance. President Bush and John Kerry have future plans to ensure that all Americans have health care coverage. Bush anticipates such things as tax credits and tax deductions. On the other hand, Kerry proposes to increase the use of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Both the President and his opponent have positive aspects and flaws surrounding their plans. The material is informative and useful when conducting research over the current problems with health care coverage. It could be used by both veterans of the topic and individuals who are new to the subject.

Cohen, Marc A., Nanda Kumar, and Stanley S. Wallack. "New Perspective on the Affordability of Long-term Care Insurance and Potential Market Size." The Gerontologist 33.1 (1993): 105-13. There are a variety of ways in which the elderly and their family pay for long-term health care. The cost of long-term care is high but the majority of individuals who are with out long-term care say the cost does not play a role in their decision not to purchase it. However, more individuals from an educated, wealthier background purchased a policy than any other group. Still, one-third of policy buyers come from a middle class background (109). In order to help solve the problem, individuals believe a government plan rather than an individual private plan would make them more likely to purchase long-term care. Although it may be found useful by individuals with more knowledge on the topic, it was not written for people new to the subject.

Glover, Saundra H. "The Rising Number of Uninsured Americans: How Adequate is our Health System?" International Journal of Social Economics 30.8 (2003): 867-82. The number of uninsured is continuously on the rise. In 1997, the number had increased by nearly nine million over the last four years. The issue does not affect only one group of people. Individuals from children to the elderly are placed in this category. The problem does not only concern citizens but also health care providers and the quality of care. Glover suggests that "83 percent" of the employed uninsured "make less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of three" (870). These individuals do not make enough money to be able to afford health insurance but make too much to receive financial assistance. The issue is covered well, providing useful information describing what actions are being taken to improve the problem.

Hoffman, Catherine, Diane Rowland, and Alicia L. Carbaugh. "Holes in the Health Insurance System-Who Lacks Coverage And Why." The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 32.3 (2004): 390-96. Nearly 44 million Americans are without health insurance. Because employers are unable to offer their employees health care coverage the number of uninsured individuals is continuously on the rise. Furthermore, individuals can not afford the cost of the health premium or do not qualify for health care coverage. When unable to obtain insurance through employers individuals are forced to find insurance elsewhere. Research suggests, "…a $9,000 family policy in the individual market (if one were even available at the average employer group costs in 2003) would consume a third or more of their income" (392). In order to help assist the public Medicaid was created in 1965. Medicaid only covers a limited number of groups therefore, is not able to cover every uninsured person. The public will have to wait for the economy to improve in order to notice a decrease in the number of uninsured individuals. Although a very informative article, the research is narrow regarding its focus on solutions for the problem.

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Hidden Costs, Value Lost. Washington: The National Academies P, 2003. There are various programs that have been made available for the uninsured; however, individuals do not take advantage of the opportunities because they are not aware that they are eligible. For example, Medicaid offers insurance without prior payment. "In 2001, an estimated 5.26 million children were eligible…but not enrolled" in the programs being offered (45). There is an enormous amount of uncompensated care being used by the uninsured. For instance, hospitals have approximately "$20.8 billion" that individuals owe them but are unable to pay (49). The government, taxpayers, and health care providers are being held responsible for the care that individuals who can not afford health insurance are using. As a solution, uncompensated care costs could be lowered by increasing local taxes. The research and statistics are very helpful and easy to understand.

---, Insuring America's Health. Washington: The National Academies P, 2003. One's life expectancy is shorter if the individual is not insured. This is caused by a variety of factors including, a later diagnosis of the illness and the likelihood of being admitted. "For example, uninsured women with breast cancer have a risk of dying that is between 30 and 50 percent higher than the risk for women with private health insurance…even when the cancer is diagnosed at similar stages" (46). A few of the reasons for this is because the uninsured have fewer doctor visits and they do not receive continuous care from a doctor. Moreover, health insurance is something that not only the individual benefits from but the whole community benefits from because it allows the entire community to be healthier. The issue is well covered and is easily read.

Perloff, Janet D. "Insuring the Children: Obstacles and Opportunities." Families in Society 80.5 (1999): 516-25. Congress has created a new plan in order to help limit the number of children without health insurance. Title XXI or the State Children's Health Insurance Program have given families another option for health care coverage. There are approximately 11 million children without health insurance, many who could be taking advantage of the CHIP but are unaware of the program. There are numerous new plans trying to assist uninsured children receive the medical care they need. In order to inform individuals of CHIP, the public and workers that deal with children need to provide useful information concerning the plan explaining exactly which individuals qualify for the program. Although useful information was provided, the article was difficult to understand and was possibly intended for an audience that has more knowledge on the subject.

Tunzi, Marc. "The Uninsured." American Family Physician 69.6 (2004): 1357-360. The quantity of Americans without health insurance is steadily increasing each year. The numbers increased 2.4 million from 2001 to 2002. The number of men without health insurance is 23 million while the number of women without health insurance is 20 million (1357). The white population consists of more uninsured individuals than any other racial group. A surprising statistic that most individuals are unaware of is that 80 percent of the uninsured come from working families. These families often times do not make enough money to be able to afford expensive health insurance but make too much to qualify for financial assistance. Medicaid was responsible for insuring 14 million individuals in the year 2002. The uninsured are less likely to receive medical care resulting in severe illnesses. The issue and possible solutions are addressed, along with useful research and statistics.

Wasley, Terree P. "Health Care in the Twentieth Century: A History of Government Interference and Protection." Business Economics 28.2 (1993): 11-16. The idea for health insurance first started at the beginning of the twentieth century. Baylor University Hospital began this trend in 1929, causing other hospitals to soon catch on. This resulted in Blue Cross in 1932 "and forever changed the American health care system" (12). Throughout the years the costs have increased forcing the government to impose additional controls and regulations. Because of the various new procedures that were adopted the cost of health care is continuously on the rise. The government proposes more controls and regulations, which has not proven successful in the past. Another solution "is to allow a system based on the market, one that offers citizens maximum freedom of choice and responsibility in purchasing their health care" (16). The article is dated and slightly difficult to understand.

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