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Counting the Uninsured

Susan K. Reynolds, MD
JAMA. 1994;271(19):1483-1484. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510430035025.
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To the Editor.  —I read with great interest Dr Swartz's1 article on the number of people without health insurance. I was glad to note that she did not assume that "no insurance" equals "no health care." However, I would like to inquire whether the figure of 58 million people who will be uninsured takes into account the possibility that these people will be eligible for benefits through the Veterans Affairs system, county and city health departments, automobile insurance (for accidents), workers' compensation, Medicaid after a spend-down period has occurred, charitable organizations such as the Shriners, the Lions Club, and the Junior League, Hill-Burton grants, residency program clinics, settlement-house— type programs, and, of course, uncompensated care given by physicians and hospitals. They may not be a fancy safety net, but if you are willing to accept long waits and drab waiting rooms, the public hospitals of this country can and


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