Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not 18,000 but 45,000 Americans Die Each Year Who Don't have Health Care

Remember when we said 22,000 people die from preventable deaths a year due to a lack of health care?

As written at Democracy Now:

Nearly 45,000 Americans die every year—that’s 122 deaths a day—due to lack of health insurance. That’s the startling finding of a new study that appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The figure is about two-and-a-half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine in 2002. The Harvard-based researchers found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993. Deaths associated with lack of health insurance now exceed those caused by many common killers such as kidney disease.
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, professor of medicine at Harvard University and a primary care physician in Cambridge said,

"I personally don’t think a public option will work. It’s been tried in five states, in Tennessee, in Minnesota, in Maine, and it never worked. Now, you haven’t heard about the public option in these five states, because it was not a game changer. It didn’t get us to universal healthcare, and it didn’t control costs. The only public option that really makes sense is Medicare for all."

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