Saturday, April 12, 2008

No health insurance death toll

Via Susie Madrak, "Death by Lack of Health Insurance." The reality:

In 2002, a groundbreaking national study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated the direct link between a lack of health coverage and deaths from health-related causes. Drawing on that study, Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers, has today made available reports for all 50 states that show how many people are expected to die in each state each week because they don’t have health coverage. A separate report is also available for the District of Columbia.

The individual reports, available on the Families USA Web site, provide eye-opening numbers for every state. Among the figures cited is the fact that more than seven working-age Texans die each day due to a lack of health insurance. Other reports reveal that, on average, approximately 960 people in Illinois died in 2006 because they had no health coverage, and nearly 9,900 uninsured New Yorkers between the ages of 25 and 64 died in the years 2000 to 2006.

“Our report highlights how our inadequate system of health coverage condemns a great number of people to an early death simply because they don’t have the same access to health care as their insured neighbors,” Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, said today. “The conclusions are sadly clear—a lack of health coverage is a matter of life and death for many people. [Emphasis added.]

People criticize Hillary Clinton's insistence on universal health care with mandates but there's more to her proposal--the chance to live longer--than the economics. Props to John Edwards for his lead on this issue as well.