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Argument: There are major hidden costs associated with the uninsured

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Supporting quotations

"The Case for Universal Health Care". American Medical Student Association (AMSA). 2005-2006 - "What are the costs of not achieving universal health care? In a landmark six-part series on the uninsured, the Institute of Medicine compiled an extensive report on the “hidden” costs of uninsurance.8

  • Fewer years of participation in the workforce: The annual cost of diminished health and shorter life spans of Americans without insurance is $65-$130 billion. People who do not live as long do not work and contribute to the economy as long.
  • Developmental losses for children: children who are uninsured are more likely to suffer delays in development because of poor health, thus affecting their future earning capacity.
  • Cost to public programs: Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and the criminal justice system have higher costs than they would if there were universal coverage. For Medicare, the reason is that people who are uninsured have poorer health, and this poorer health translates into higher expenses once they become enrolled in Medicare. A similar effect exists for SSDI and the criminal justice system, although to a smaller degree because most people do not end up using these programs whereas the vast majority ultimately enroll in Medicare at age 65."

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