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Harvard Medical Study Links Lack of Insurance to 45,000 U.S. Deaths a Year (NYT)

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:16 PM
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Harvard Medical Study Links Lack of Insurance to 45,000 U.S. Deaths a Year (NYT)
Harvard Medical Study Links Lack of Insurance to 45,000 U.S. Deaths a Year
By Reed Abelson

As the White House and Congress continue debating how best to provide coverage to tens of millions of Americans currently without health insurance, a new study (PDF) is meant to offer a stark reminder of why lawmakers should continue to try. Researchers from Harvard Medical School say the lack of coverage can be tied to about 45,000 deaths a year in the United States a toll that is greater than the number of people who die each year from kidney disease.

If you extend coverage, you can save lives, said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard who is one of the studys authors. The research is being published in the December issue of the American Journal of Health and was posted online Thursday.

The Harvard study found that people without health insurance had a 40 percent higher risk of death than those with private health insurance as a result of being unable to obtain necessary medical care. The risk appears to have increased since 1993, when a similar study found the risk of death was 25 percent greater for the uninsured.

The increase in risk, according to the study, is likely to be a result of at least two factors. One is the greater difficulty the uninsured have today in finding care, as public hospitals have closed or cut back on services. The other is improvements in medical care for insured people with treatable chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

<SNIP>

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/harva...
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:27 PM
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1. So those Repukes.....
...who have said they wouldn't even read the healthcare bill, let alone vote for it, would also be complicit in murder. Manslaughter?

- Sounds about right.....

K&R
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:28 PM
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2. K&R. nt
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:32 PM
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3. knr - link to study ...
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:47 PM
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4. A person dies every 12 minutes....
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/september/harvard_study_f...

"...Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, study co-author, professor of medicine at Harvard and a primary care physician in Cambridge, Mass., noted: Historically, every other developed nation has achieved universal health care through some form of nonprofit national health insurance. Our failure to do so means that all Americans pay higher health care costs, and 45,000 pay with their lives.

She added: Even the most liberal version of the House bill would have left 17 million uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The whittled down Senate bill will be worse leaving tens of millions uninsured, and tens of thousands dying because of lack of care. Without the administrative savings only attainable through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer reform real universal coverage will remain unaffordable. Politicians are protecting insurance industry profits by sacrificing American lives.

Dr. David Himmelstein, study co-author and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, remarked, The Institute of Medicine, using older studies, estimated that one American dies every 30 minutes from lack of health insurance. Even this grim figure is an underestimate now one dies every 12 minutes.

Health Insurance and Mortality in U.S. Adults, Andrew P. Wilper, M.D., M.P.H., Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., Karen E. Lasser, M.D., M.P.H., Danny McCormick, M.D., M.P.H., David H. Bor, M.D., and David U. Himmelstein, M.D. American Journal of Public Health, Sept. 17, 2009 (online); print edition Vol. 99, Issue 12, December 2009."



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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:48 PM
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5. about the same as the flu virus or a little higher.....
posted more to draw attention to the fatalities from the disease so many DUers laugh at..... We need to do better providing health care to all.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. "richest country on Earth"?
In whose dreams?

Perhaps for a few, a very small few.
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