Fewer Uninsured!

The Census Bureau just released a revised estimate of the number of Americans who lack health insurance:

The revised estimates show that, in 2005, 44.8 million people, 15.3 percent of the population, were without health insurance — about 1.8 million fewer than the Census Bureau reported in August 2006. Based on the Current Population Survey, the original 2005 estimate was 46.6 million, or about 15.9 percent of the population… . Conversely, an estimated 249 million Americans had coverage, up from the 247.3 million reported in August.

I think I speak for the entire health policy community when I say:

It is important that we not over-react to these numbers. The worst thing we could do would be to stop panicking about the uninsured. A lot of interest groups have spent a lot of money and misused a lot of data to convince the public that this mostly healthy bunch of people are America’s #1 health care problem. If we were to go off-message now, then Barack, Hillary, Mitt, Arnold, and all the other Chicken Littles we’ve created … well, they might get horribly confused. Thank you for your continued support.