Does lack of insurance = death?Blog added by Paul Wilson on September 30, 2009
Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Denver, CO

Joined: May 30, 2007

As you've probably heard, a recent Harvard study estimates that almost 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of health insurance, even after taking into account other factors such as income and unhealthy behaviors.

In fact, the study says that those without health insurance face a 40 percent higher risk of death than those  with private health insurance like that provided through an employer.
According to Dr. David Himmelstein, co-author of the study, “We’re losing more Americans every day because of inaction … than drunk driving and homicide combined."
Specifically, the study notes an extended history of research detailing specific reasons why lack of insurance raises health risks, including increased hypertension, poor management of chronic illnesses and diminished likelihood of receiving preventative and primary care, which can lead to more frequent trips to the emergency room.
The study comes to the conclusion that those in the health sector should support universal coverage. According to lead author Dr. Andrew Wilper, he expects to receive criticism for the findings but says his opinion is based squarely on science.
Obviously, the conclusion flies in the face of what many in the industry believe in. So what’s your response?
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