Health Care Reform Law Targeted Wrong Group Posted on September 24, 2010 Though a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau says that 50.7 million Americans went without health insurance last year (Sept. 19: “Nashua feeling effects of nation’s rising poverty rate”), this statistic doesn’t provide a complete picture of the nation’s uninsured. A 2009 study co-authored by Dr. June O’Neill, who served as the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995-99, showed that nearly half of uninsured Americans aged 18 to 64 could likely afford to purchase health insurance. While the labor market has since changed, the conclusion is the same: Millions are presently uninsured by choice. Instead of passing a costly health care law that requires almost everyone to purchase insurance – even people who don’t want to – Congress should have focused specifically on Americans who wanted coverage but couldn’t afford it. Michael Saltsman Research Fellow Employment Policies Institute Washington, D.C.