President Barack Obama claimed during his Wednesday night press conference that there are 47 million Americans without health insurance.
A simple check with the U.S. Census Bureau would have told him otherwise.
Obama said: "This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance."
That assertion conflicts with data in the Census Bureau report "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007." The report was issued in August 2008 and contains the most up-to-date official data on the number of uninsured in the U.S.
The report discloses that there were 45.65 million people in the U.S. who did not have health insurance in 2007.
However, it also reveals that there were 9.73 million foreigners — foreign-born non-citizens who were in the country in 2007 — included in that number. So the number of uninsured Americans was actually 35.92 million.
And of those, "there were also 9.1 million people making more than $75,000 per year who did not choose to purchase health insurance," CNSNews stated in a report based on the Census Bureau data.
That brings the number of Americans who lack health insurance presumably for financial reasons down less than 27 million.
The Census Bureau report also shows that the number of people without insurance actually went down in 2007 compared to the previous year — from 47 million to 45.65 million — while the number with insurance rose from 249.8 million to 253.4 million.
The next Census Bureau report disclosing health insurance data, with 2008 numbers, is scheduled to be released in August, and could figure in the healthcare reform debate.