Swollen Argument Posted on October 01, 2009 The Sept. 29 editorial on health care (‘A lifesaver, but not a solution’) cites a figure of 46 million uninsured Americans. This oft-quoted statistic is actually a gross overestimation, as recent research suggests the number of Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance is much lower. A new study by Dr. June O’Neill, who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995-1999, shows that nearly half of those uninsured Americans could likely afford to purchase coverage. The average ‘voluntarily uninsured’ household makes $65,000 per year. We should not rush into the creation of an expensive health care system without a better understanding of the uninsured population. As long as we continue basing our arguments on inaccurate numbers, it’s hard to see how we can make effective policy decisions. Kristen Lopez Eastlick Washington, D.C.