One reason that the plight of the uninsured has moved swiftly to the top of the domestic political agenda is that the number of uninsured middle class is on the rise. More than 30% of uninsured individuals in the U.S. have annual household incomes in excess of $40,000.
The rising cost of health care could be a significant contributing factor, as well as a drop in manufacturing jobs combined with a migration of workers to the service industries and small businesses alike, both of which are less likely to provide insurance.
Without an employer-provided health plan, an employee must buy an individual plan or go without medical insurance altogether. Both individuals and independent contractors are more likely to put off buying coverage until they need it, which makes the pool of the insured less healthy. And, if the pool is less healthy, the costs associated with insuring them are higher.