A recent study by researchers based at harvard has found that the lack of health insurance causes almost 45,000 deaths annually in the U.S. The American Journal of Public Health first published the study in its Septemeber, 2009, online edition. The statistics cited by the study’s authors are disturbing:
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."
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."
Do you think that any member of Congress would be willing to admit that they could not help an accident victim because they did not have health insurance? Of course not. Now that there are bills to consider, the opponents’ cry is "we are for health care reform, but just not what is proposed." The debate over the best solution has been raging for a long time. It’s too late in the game to pull out the "we can do better" card at this late stage. Opponents of health care reform have had plenty of time to put forth their own proposals, but decided instead to backseat drive. Time has run out, on the naysayers and on the 45,000 Americans who will not be alive next year without insurance.
Cum Laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law, Pet Mackey is a civil trial litigation expert who represents plaintiffs in business and consumer tort, contracts and construction, employment disputes and insurance. He is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Certified Alabama Mediator, and an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.