Lack of Healthcare Insurance = More Deaths

Failure to pass healthcare reform legislation could result in 275,000 premature deaths over the next decade.  The real cost of failure to pass healthcare reform legislation could mean that 275,000 Americans nationwide will die unnecessarily over the next 10 years – simply because they lack insurance.  According to a new study by Families USA, “This is only the tip of the iceberg, and the most severe consequence, which is death,” said Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy at Families USA.

The states with the largest populations were found to be the ones where the majority of projected premature deaths would occur.  The top states are California (34,600 early deaths); Texas (31,700); Florida (25,400); and New York (13,900).  Families USA estimates that 68 adults under the age of 65 die every day because they lack healthcare insurance coverage.  Unless a significant change occurs, that figure will climb to 84 by 2019.

Research exploring the connection between a lack of health insurance and an increased risk of death has found that the uninsured are more likely to avoid screenings and preventive care.  As a result, their medical problems tend to be diagnosed later when they are advanced and difficult to treat.  “The bottom line is that if you don’t get a disease picked up early and you don’t get necessary treatment, you’re more likely to die,” said Stan Dorn, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and author of an earlier study of premature deaths.

Healthcare experts warn that the Families USA’s study’s premature death estimate errs on the side of caution, although the report calculated that a lack of insurance increases mortality rates by 25 percent.  More recent research found that people who do not have healthcare research are 40 percent more likely to die early.

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