Consensus on the Uninsured: They Suffer

Conrad Meier’s “No Insurance Doesn’t Mean No Healthcare” (Commentary, May 21) perpetuates the myth that those who live without health insurance don’t suffer, and it mischaracterizes “Cover the Uninsured Week,” a nonpartisan national campaign co-chaired by former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

Meier is alone in implying that using the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual estimates on the number of uninsured in America is questionable or partisan. Every administration, Republican and Democratic members of Congress and most serious organizations use these data.

Uninsured Americans get delayed diagnoses and care with unfortunate results, including an estimated 18,000 deaths each year. “Cover the Uninsured Week” did not promote any policy proposals, despite Meier’s assertion to the contrary. He opined incorrectly that the agenda of the sponsor was to increase the power of government but ignored the participation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as the pro-business activities that took place as part of the week.


Stuart Schear

Senior Officer, Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation

Princeton, N.J.