45,000 Deaths Each Year Associated With Lack Of Health Insurance

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Let’s talk numbers. Even the most policy-averse can understand basic numbers.

From Reuters:

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year — one every 12 minutes — in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

“We’re losing more Americans every day because of inaction … than drunk driving and homicide combined,” Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.

A 1993 study found that those without health insurance are 25% more likely to die. That study put the number of annual deaths at 18,00 a year. The new study used the same methodology. It excludes people over the age of 65, because they have health insurance. It’s called Medicare. A government run health plan. The increased number of deaths is due largely to the increased number of uninsured. 27,000 more, each year. Since 1993. Since the Clinton Administration’s attempt to reform health care was destroyed, largely by the insurance industry.

Another factor is that there are fewer places for the uninsured to get good care. Public hospitals and clinics are shuttering or scaling back across the country in cities like New Orleans, Detroit and others, he said.

Public hospitals save lives. But the privatization obsession of the cold, cruel, greedy is killing off public hospitals. Which is killing off people. And the health insurance industry is killing people.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Andrew Wilper, who was at Harvard Medical School when the study was done and who now teaches at the University of Washington Medical School, was quoted on the Physicians for a National Health Plan website:

“The uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors and baseline health. We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes and heart disease – but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications.”

The health insurance industry is the ultimate death panel. It excludes people who cannot afford health insurance. It excludes people who can afford health insurance but who have pre-existing conditions. Those who have no health insurance are more likely to die unnecessarily. Some 45,000 each year.

What would this nation do if some foreign power killed 45,000 people in this country in a single year? What should we do to the insurance industry?

13 comments

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    • Edger on September 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    if some foreign power killed 45,000 people in this country in a single year?

    Probably find an unrelated country that has something the oligarchs want, and invade and occupy them for years killing millions of their people, while letting bin Laden the insurance industry get away?

    < /snark >

    • banger on September 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    in the mass media. I’ve been stunned at how journalist after journalist with exceptions like T.R. Reid and a few others just don’t believe in putting front and center the FACTS about health-care in this country. From what I’ve seen there is no basis for discussion or analysis of the actual issues. And this is true about each and every national and international issue we face collectively.

    We have no government that has the national interest at heart. It is time for resistance. And interestingly enough the only ones resisting are the yeoman farmers from the middle of the country that have no grasp of the facts (they were never given any) but know there is something wrong.

    WTF, health insurance is skyrocketing and people are against HCR? That is the level of disgust and distrust of the government that only aids the rich.

    How can we continue this way?

  1. Then they can die of other poverty-related afflictions, and the problem will be solved.

  2. We can’t sacrifice that many for the good of the bottom line of our insurance overlords?  

    If you think about it, Stephen Helmsley’s compensation is about $100 million per year.  $100,000,000 / 45000 = $2222 per patient, or around the wholesale cost of insuring those folks.

    In order to save those people, who could have died anyway, Stephen Helmsley would have to sacrifice his entire yearly compensation.  And that just isn’t right.  

    I’m surprised they haven’t demanded virgin sacrifices.  

  3. which was a city state that turn corporatism into religion. We seem to headed that way. They demand our children and the world to become either consumers or slaves for their exalted profit margins, the supreme court will soon legally declare them persons what does that make us, we the people?

    Once they are people can we prosecute them for mass murder?  

    • TMC on September 19, 2009 at 2:45 am

    statement about the health care in this country. Why are is the US so obsessed that everything must be profitable even at the cost of human life? Shame.

  4. do you think will be attributed to the coming American “Red Dawn”

    http://www.buffalonews.com/185

    http://www.oldthinkernews.com/

    http://forum.freestateproject….

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