His one-third figures seem a bit high to me, but he is right that 47 million substantially overestimates the magnitude of the problem. A serious estimate would take out both illegal immigrants and those who are eligible for Medicaid but have not applied. Those eligible for Medicaid can always enroll once they need significant medical care. In addition, I would exclude those who were offered employer-provided health insurance but declined coverage, and those that are healthy and making more than, say, $50,000 a year. These two groups are choosing to roll the dice. According to estimates I have seen, they make up more than a quarter of the uninsured.
Let’s think this through – if the problem of uninsured is not as large as what Senator Clinton has suggested, then the budgetary costs of addressing this problem wouldn’t be as large either. The usual rightwing criticism of Clinton’s proposal is that it would raise taxes a lot. I guess Dick Morris was trying to help the Senator out by deflating this rightwing argument. Thanks Dick! Thanks Greg!