"I can’t afford health insurance"

But the lottery is ok:

The average American spent $177 playing the lottery, more than the average spent on reading materials. Massachusetts is fifth in the nation in per-capital lottery spending at $700.

I had seen this number in previous years, but each time I do, I am blown away. That is $700 for every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. According to the US Census, the average family size in Massachusetts is 3.14 people, so let’s call that $2100 per family.

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  • RoseAG

    Precisely why I don’t feel that bad about mandating coverage. Make an effort not to let the price get totally out of control, but make people know that obtaining coverage isn’t optional….

  • Anonymous

    Similar vein: Have you ever met a patient suffering from some injury related to their ATV who had insurance? Catastrophic coverage could be had for the whole family for the price of the ATV that they just wrecked.

    As long as someone is going to fix their noggin for them whether they pay or not, there is no incentive for them to buy insurance (boring) when they would rather get a power toy (wheeeee….)

  • Anonymous

    Logical error – While it may be true that those are the averages for Mass residents, that doesn’t mean that those without insurance are the ones paying that amount for the lottery.

    Not saying that it is wrong, but it is presumptive.

    For example, it may be that someone with insurance plays the lottery twice as much, while someone without insurance doesn’t play, because they can’t afford the insurance or the lottery.

    In order to make the connection, you have to assume arrogant disregard on the part of the non-payee. This data does not prove it.

  • KoKo

    I suspect that many of those residents of Massachusetts who buy lottery tickets, are Senior citizens,who are Medicare and thus don’t need private health insurance.

    At $700/person that comes to about $2/day spent on the lottery. Remember, the bus in the Boston area costs $1.50/ride and the subway costs $2/ride.

    This comparison between public transport and the lottery makes the cost of a lottery ticket look very cheap.

  • Happyman

    “it may be that someone with insurance plays the lottery twice as much, while someone without insurance doesn’t play”

    WHAT??? WHO ARE YOU KIDDING???

    every trailer trash on welfare has a cellphone, cable tv, and plays the lottery incessantly before getting health insurance – precisely as anon 4:05 puts it (more fun to have those things than insurance)

    Those who are paying through their paychecks some big chunk, or privately for health insurance knows the value of a dollar, and doesn’t participate in the lottery (“tax on the stupid” as a wise friend once said).

    the problem with the uninsured is overblown – in NY anybody with means or not gets unlimited care through ERs and charitable clinics. Michael Moore’s notion of thousands of poor folks dying each year because of lack of insurance is such a crock – ask anybody who works in an ER or for a hospital.

  • Anonymous

    “every trailer trash on welfare has a cellphone, cable tv, and plays the lottery incessantly before getting health insurance – precisely as anon 4:05 puts it (more fun to have those things than insurance)”

    Prove it! You know you can’t because for the most part it isn’t true. Most people DO NOT play the lottery!

    It is just you trying to make yourself believe something that makes you feel better about all the people who don’t have ins. Besides all those on welfare aren’t in that number of the non-insured, they have medicaid. As for cell phones, I guess you never heard of pre-pay? Well of course you haven’t, you’re a dr., you travel with the best of cell phone service. Many people have cells phones now becuase it is cheaper than most land lines. they buy a few minutes a month 5.00-10.00 worth and when those minutes are gone then they don’t have phone service until they recharge it with more minutes, but you wouldn’t know about that, would ya?

  • scalpel

    Anecdotal, sure, but when I’m standing in line at a convenience store, it usually isn’t the well-dressed customers holding car keys who are buying the lottery tickets.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Scalpel, that is so you. BTW, were you standing in that line so you could buy some of those tkts also?

    It is mid-class America that buys lottery tkts the most. Also, it is the SAME people over and over and over again. The numbers are screwed here because they don’t account for the fact that it is a small percentage of people buying hugh amts of tkts. Disgruntled housewives also spend mega bucks on lottery tkts. I guess its their way of getting even.

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