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Advocacy group: 26,000 die prematurely without health insurance
June 20th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Advocacy group: 26,000 die prematurely without health insurance

A national health care consumer advocacy group estimates that three Americans die every hour as a result of not having health insurance.  

According to "Dying for Coverage," the latest report by Families USA, 72 Americans die each day, 500 Americans die every week and approximately Americans 2,175 die each month, due to lack of health insurance.

"The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress to address an American tragedy and an American shame," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director Families USA. "The fact remains that for the millions of Americans without health coverage, only the Affordable Care offers the promise of access to affordable coverage and to a longer and healthier life." 

Families USA has been a staunch supporter of President Obama's health care reform law.

The report found that the reasons for being uninsured varied, but many of those without health insurance had coverage denied because of pre-existing conditions.  Others have been priced out of the market on the heels of a failing economy - a time when keeping their homes and feeding their families took precedence over holding on to insurance in the face of rising premiums. And some lost their benefits when employers stopped providing coverage.

According to Families USA between 2005 and 2010, premature deaths rose from 20,350 to 26,100.  The total number during that time was 134,120.  Each state is affected, the organization said. Vermont had the fewest deaths with 28 while California had the most - 3,164, according to this report.

The method used to determine how many lives were lost was based on a model developed by the Institute of Medicine in 2002 for their report "Care without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late."  In that report, the IOM found 18,000 adults between 25 and 64 died in 2000 because they didn't have health insurance. 

"For almost 50 million Americans, not having health insurance isn't trivial, or just an inconvenience or a minor budget challenge." Pollack said. "Because of the way we currently provide and charge for health care, many millions of Americans without health coverage are denied regular access to quality care, and many of these people face an unjust sentence of a less healthy life and an earlier death."

Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, the national trade association that represents the insurance industry said the rising cost of care needs to be addressed.  

"Health plans have long supported reforms to give all Americans the peace of mind and financial security that health care coverage provides. The nation must also address the soaring cost of medical care that is adding a financial burden on families and employers and threatening the long-term sustainability of our vital safety net programs."

But Families USA says the current delivery system is stacked against those without insurance. They pay more for care because they can't negotiate discounted prices on doctor and hospital charges like insurance companies can.  As a result they often don't get preventative care and forgo or delay screenings and necessary medical care.

The report further states that in the past 2 years, uninsured women older than 50 were half as likely as insured women to get mammograms.  Low-income uninsured adults were 5 times less likely to get screened for colon cancer in the past 5 years compared to insured adults.  Cancer patients without insurance are five times more likely to delay or even skip treatment because of the cost.  

In addition, uninsured adults are more often diagnosed with advanced stage disease and they are 25% more likely to die prematurely than those with private insurance.

"The Affordable Care Act lets us wake up from this terrible health care nightmare of premature death," Pollack said. "Wiping out health reform means the nightmare will continue for all Americans."

Forty year old Regina Holliday says having care is a game changer.  She and her husband Frederick were married for almost 16 years.  During most of that time they had no health insurance even though both worked multiple jobs-most of them part time. They had two small children and paid all their medical bills out of pocket.

“Two adults with 2 children and 6 jobs and we couldn’t afford health insurance between the two of us living in D.C.” Regina said. “We didn’t go to the doctor until we were really, really, really sick-couldn’t get out of bed sick.”

Frederick, a college professor, had a urinary tract stricture – a pre-existing condition and yet another barrier to finding affordable coverage.  “Rent and food was just pretty much all of our money every month so when we looked at policies with pre-existing conditions we couldn’t afford that,” said Regina.

In 2008 she got a fulltime job that paid for health insurance but they could not afford the family coverage so only Regina had health care.  Soon thereafter Fred found a full time job teaching. For the first time in years the entire family had coverage. It was around that time that Frederick began to get sick.

He was always tired, lost weight, was in pain. After numerous tests and scans Frederick was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. It had metastasized to his stomach, bones, and lungs. He died several months later at the age of 39.

“I believe that if my husband had consistent health care during his adult life he would still be alive today,” Regina told CNN. “Today, I’m a member of Kaiser Permanente and I see how true preventative care works-annual physicals, paying attention to medical records, charting how you’re doing year to year. If anyone had ever done that for my husband there’s a very good chance he’d be alive today.”

The method used to determine how many lives were lost was based on a model developed by the Institute of Medicine in 2002 for their report "Care without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late."  In that report, the IOM found 18,000 adults between 25 and 64 died in 2000 because they didn't have health insurance. 

Pollack says if the Affordable Health Care Act stays intact and goes into effect fully in 2014, millions of American will be eligible for help covering costs and insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions or charge them higher premiums.


soundoff (457 Responses)
  1. Jt_flyer

    It would appear it is the intension of some to reduce the poor through extermination.

    June 22, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Howard

      Yes. And that's right here in the U.S.

      June 22, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • curt

      and it would seem the media censors the publics opinion and the white house uses CNN like a puppet.

      June 22, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • PDXtoNOLA

      Eugenics didn't pan out, so naturally its proponents came up with a plan to have their cake – and eat it, too.

      June 23, 2012 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • pozin

      Your point is ridiculous. I would argue that the poor actually get better medical care than the middle class. I base this on discussions with fellow middle class people that actually have to pay for their health care. Those of us earning money and not on welfare roles must weigh what ailment is worthy or needing a look whereas someone that has NO copay and NO worry on paying on any balance does not think twice and going to the emergency room for a head cold. I have family that work in ERs to back this up. I tire of people who use your argument. We need another INTELLIGENT look into health care.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
    • JonDIe

      Ask yourself: What would Jesus do? Jesus would kill these poor wretches...just like the good Republican that Jesus was.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
    • Steve Lyons

      The other insult added to injury is this. The private sector middle class pays for their own insurance, pays for the elderly through medicare / medicaid taxes, and also pays for the uninsured through cost shifting to their insurance claims as well as with local and state taxes. Welfare looks better every day.............

      June 23, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      not quite. it is the intent to have a law that really controls cost not one that only makes sure the healthcarecost continue to rise. The bill does nothing to control costs instead it allows insurance companies to directly pass on any costs to the insured. Single payer to a non profit is what should have beenput into place if you are going to inerefer with free enterprise it is hard to do it with te very people your trying to contro still being left in charge

      June 23, 2012 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • Reggie from LA

      Dam! what a bunch of clueless FoxHounds. "Our money! Why should the poor and the elderly be able to capitalize on a socialist agenda? Why? Waaaaah!!" Maybe because they weren't always old and unable to contribute. Maybe they weren't on welfare until Romney's flock of vultures sent their jobs overseas maybe. Modified 3 Musketeers, "All for one and All for one!"

      June 24, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse |
    • JustSaying2U

      @ pozin, In all due respect, your point is ridiculous. If the poor really received better care and not paying, than conversely, you pay for a lesser quality of care. Why are you still paying for healthcare? Your rationale is unrelated to any bit of logic.

      June 24, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
  2. civitas

    Gee, another slanted, biased activist group gets space in a national news media site. Families USA is about as socialist as the AARP, and makes up numbers and facts to support their claims. Some people may actually believe their nonsense.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Howard

      Nah. Only the people who care about facts will believe this. Folks like yourself will remain in denial. Or is your "denial" just a convenient way to avoid the issue?

      June 22, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • tas

      I agree. My mind is made up and I don't want to be bothered by so called "facts" and "data." I already have insurance, and I don't want to change the system to include others because I am afraid of change, and I am also greed and selfish and only care about myself.

      June 22, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • David

      I I'd rather be a Socialist than a predatory capitalist any day

      June 22, 2012 at 23:32 | Report abuse |
    • maltytasker

      Do you have any facts to back that up, or do you just make up stuff to support your views?

      June 22, 2012 at 23:54 | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker

      And another "liberal, biased" organization, the CIA, collected data showing that the U.S. has infant mortality rate twice as high as the average for modern countries. And the average American pays twice as much for health care as they do.

      June 23, 2012 at 07:16 | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker

      "as socialist as the AARP"???!!! You really need to re-evaluate your distorted view of the world. Those old people are not socialist.

      June 23, 2012 at 07:20 | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      The way conservatives define "socialism" these days makes me wonder if we shouldn't be a socialist country. I mean, the things they are so uptight about sound amazingly favorable and all-inclusive. Certainly our education system should be socialized on a national level - if these dbags are getting through secondary education without a clear understanding of what socialism actually is, then we are clearly failing as a country.

      June 23, 2012 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
    • chicago7

      The AARP is socialist, according to you I assume, because you think that the elderly of this country are lazy and useless, living off the public dole. Let me tell you something you ignorant twit. The elderly of this country worked all their lives, paying into the social security system the whole time, so that YOUR parents or grandparents of that time wouldn't have to eat cat food in their old age. I worked for 44 years straight, full time. I have never been unemployed up until I retired. I paid into social security and Medicare. I paid taxes every year. My money helped build roads for YOU to drive on, and prisons to keep the bad guys from breaking into YOUR house and taking your stuff. My pension is fully earned and I intend to enjoy my old age. You don't like it? Stuff it.

      June 24, 2012 at 01:55 | Report abuse |
    • James Hawk III

      @chicago7 – You should read the results of SCOTUS Flemming vs. Nestor. It's not a pension, you didn't earn it, you're not owed anything, and that's that. You might have paid for roads for us to use, but we're paying for roads the next generation will use. The wheel goes around, my friend, and no one owes anyone anything on that particular account. You don't like it? I think you know what to do....

      June 24, 2012 at 07:28 | Report abuse |
  3. Tony

    Load of crap.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • newsqueen123

      You and all of those close to you must have health insurance or you're uninsured but have never been faced with a devastating illness. Which one is it?

      June 24, 2012 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
  4. Easy Solution

    They don't die from lack of health insurance. They die because they are ill or injured or OD'd. Let's be clear, Health Insurance saves NO ONE. Health care saves. Health Insurance pays big money so others can divvy out the health care.

    Eliminate Health Insurance companies and health care costs will go down!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Look at you bills, it's the hospitals that are over charging. Health costs are so high even an insuarnce company will lose if a few people in one group policy max out their lifetime coverage of 2,000,000.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense People

      Yes, lets eliminate health care companies and put millions of people out of work.

      June 22, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      @Common Sense People. Yeah, why not? They are rude, unhelpful, and the ones in higher ranks get their salaries that are 300% more than they should be. Get them out on the street, I don't care, for once I don't.

      June 22, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      With regard to putting people out of work, I suspect that decoupling health insurance from employment would allow many Americans to retire. How many are only still working today because they need the health insurance? I suspect we'd create a lot of new job openings just by eliminating the "golden shackles" of health insurance that only comes with a full-time job.

      June 22, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Crack head talk. lets eliminate car ins. home owner ins. etc while we're at it. I hope you or someone you love gets sick as a dog and don't have health ins. when you have to file for backruptcy, lose your home, wages garnished I'll be you'll wish you had ins.

      June 22, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
  5. Bruce

    The reality is that healthcare in the USA is a joke. Doctors get paid less while insurance companies make more and insurance companies determine what healthcare you should get. If all the money that now goes to insurance companies was instead put in some fund, I wonder how much more we would get for our healthcare money? Currently the most expensive healthcare in the world and still 50 million people are not covered. Not acceptable.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      I had 3 stints put in my heart and the first stint and angiogram was 50,000. then they added 5000 for evey stint they put in plus the cost of the room. It all came to around 75,000. Had my wife not had a job that provides insurance I would've lost a hunk of my retirement money or had a lien put on my home. I feel for those that don't have insurance but we need the right plan. Maybe we can somehow keep the hospitals from over charging. that seems to be thebulk of the costs and I do know they overcharge all the time plus charge you for things you didn't even use. Obama's plan is no good. We need something more effective.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • kelly63

      This is why I love being Canadian and living in a country with universal healthcare. Today I went for blood tests, cardio test and x-rays. Cost: $0. And when I go to my 3 doctors appointments next week, I'll pay $0. Yes, our taxes are high, but anyone can walk into a hospital and receive top notch care. As someone who has 3 chronic illnesses, I would have been long dead if I lived in the US.

      June 22, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Single payer fantasy

      Kelly: If Canadian healthcare is all that and a bag of chips, then why do prominent Canadian politicians and wealthy Canadians travel to the US for their surgeries and procedures? Suckers!

      June 23, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
  6. James

    We have two problems: the medical industry is replete with crooks as is the insurance industry. We don't need health insurance, we need healthcare. We all have experienced the obscene cost of medical care. The last itemized bill I was sent showed $10 for a pair of latex gloves to be worn by the orderly who changed my sheets. $8 for the cheap, ill-fitting sock/slippers. $15 for a Tums. I could on and on.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tas

      100 percent correct. Insurance companies cheating us is one problem, but the HUGE problem that will be much harder to fix is the obscene and unfair cost of health care.

      In truth, the people that profit from the system (doctors, hospitals, pharm companies, ect...) are the ones that have pretty much determined what we pay. Thus, no surprise that they make huge profits and we pay out the ***. To really fix the problem prices must be regulated. If we can regulate cable and utilities, then we can regulate heath care prices too.

      June 22, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  7. jpbrody

    Uhm . . . so how many are dying (even prematurely) with insurance? This a stupid, make news report for those who have a political agenda. Sad, sad.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jlv

      The insinuation is that if you have medical insurance that you died when you were supposed too, even if your treatment is denied.

      June 22, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      hey jp I bet you have health insurance. Would you recommed to someone NOT to have health ins. People die many ways all the time, the story isn't about that. Think about this, terrorists killed over 3,000 people on 9/11 (many americans). Because of lack of health reform, OUR GOVERMENT kills 10x more americans a year than terrorists killed on 9/11.

      June 22, 2012 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • jrm03063

      Prior to the passage of ACA, America had two questions to answer about health care – and you have to take them in order. The first – will everyone be covered? The second – how do we make it financially sustainable. Different answers to #1 mean different answers to #2 (hence sequence). ACA tried to answer both, it mostly answered #1 and started on #2. If the GOP gets their fondest wish and prevails in the courts – they may rue the day. It just takes us back to #1 – and the GOP will not as easily avoid a specific phrasing of the question next time.

      June 22, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  8. me

    and that's America?

    June 22, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Kevster

    But hospitals are not allowed to let people die and must offer them medical treatment no matter if they have insurance or not so these are people that just dont make the effort. Also this health care bill is going to tax the middle class again and to make us pay for the poor and people who dont work so whats in it for us. 50 million are out of work who will not pay this new tax plus the ones that are illegal so we have to foot the bill for everyone as the rich won't. So tell me is this really the best way.

    June 22, 2012 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Howard

      More falsehoods from the no-nothing party.

      June 22, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Until people deal with reality, the problem will never be solved. There are toooo many people having children they can't take care of. You should only have children if you have a H.S. diploma and a job with health care.

      June 22, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Elsie

      Kevster, Yes hospitals will treat anyone in an emergency situation, but when you don't have insurance and they find a spot on your lung, they say, "Let's wait and see what it looks like in 3 months" instead of ordering a biopsy.

      Sometimes, by then, it's too late. This happened to my brother in law.

      June 22, 2012 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • dianawelsh

      Ken, when I had my youngest child I *had* a job with health insurance, and more than a high school diploma (AS degree). But then I had complications and was put on bed rest, lost my job because I had to take 'too long' for maternity care as a result, and then suddenly, no health insurance, no job. Until health insurance is de-coupled from employment, this is always going to be an issue. Get too sick to work, there goes your health insurance, never mind that's when you need it the most.

      June 23, 2012 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
  10. art

    Just google Stephen Hemsley Ceo of United healthcare salery and tell me is that right or fair. Not to mention the hoops I have to jump through after getting approval for cataract surgery and getting a back ended denial for medical necessity with request for operative reports medical office and medical notes. Things need to change people and thats a fact.

    June 22, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ken Margo

    I'll bet those that have health care through their jobs don't realize the total cost of providing health care. Between my job and I my health ins. for my family of 4 cost over $36,000 PER YEAR. There are no options if you don't have the money. There isn't cheaper ins. Inorder to have mammograms and prostate tests yearly, you need ins. Sad thing is that the pro-lifers are against health care reform.

    June 22, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. TwoMercedes

    Thank goodness we have the Republican Party to make sure that these deadbeats don't get health insurance either. It's their own fault they are in the situation they are in. To quote my favorite author: "If they are going to die then, let them do it and decrease the surplus population".

    June 22, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      It would be a lot easier to use birth control and abortion to decrease the surpluse population. ISN'T THE REPUBLICANS PRO LIFE? THEY ARE THE ONES THAT WANT TO INCREASE THE POPULATION. SO MAKE UP YOUR MIND. IF YOU WANT THEM HERE, HELP THEM. IF NOT STOP WHINING ABUT BEING PRO LIFE.

      June 22, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • kelly63

      Only someone with a name like "Two Mercedes" would say something so ethically empty.

      June 22, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • kelly63

      It's sad you didn't get the message like Scrooge did.

      June 22, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Elsie

      Ah, I believe that is sarcasm, at least I hope.

      June 22, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    Government management of our health care seems the only way to prevent the unmitigated greed of the medical profession and health insurance companies from preventing so many from securing the health insurance coverage they need. Everyone seems so damned afraid to try socialized medicine but when one side has all the capital and continues to rob the kitty and the American people blind then our government leaders have an obligation to step in and put a stop to it.

    June 22, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      Jeff you are so misguided. The government needs to get out of our lives. They are in it too deep as it is.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    Add another zero to the end of that number and we'll have the unemployment problem fixed in a few years. That's the GOP plan.

    June 22, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. HPUCK

    Obama's plan doesn't go far enough and the Republicans want to keep the status quo to keep insurance and the health care providers happy. The only way to right this is a National Health Care plan which incorporates government and private companies. Make the suppliers bid for their services and put a cap on what they can charge. This is not socialism, it's competion without greed. Compaines have to make a profit, just not a killing.

    June 22, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      In the wake of Citizen's United & the general sell out of the Republicans to anyone with lots of money (like Doctors & Big Insurance) that is only a fading dream & the harbinger of our failure as a nation.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  16. SandBox

    They don't need to. there is always DoctorsForUninsured dot org. They encourage private providers to accept and treat self-pay patients at a discount. In exchange, DoctorsForUninsured will offer deals and coupons to the medical professionals for their contribution to the community. They are not trying to solve the healthcare crisis – just making medical care within reach and affortable.

    June 22, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carla

      There is also the option of "medical tourism"... Check out Planet Hospital at http://www.planethospital.com , and there was an article about medical tourism "hot spots" on CNN Health back in 2009 at http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/26/medtourism.interactive/index.html This would be MY move if something catastrophic happened to me. I hope this helps!

      June 23, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
  17. awetmedic

    Amputations are very common for people without insurance. There are many people living in agony with bad knees and hips that do not get replaced. The list of needless suffering for the sake of greedy insurance middlemen who gamble with your money is endless. Tell me once again why a third person needs to get between you and your doctor for payment.

    June 22, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Jerry

    Which of course means 2.4 million people are dying each year with access to health insurance.

    June 22, 2012 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Ct

    Obama said his mother died without healthcare for cancer. Fact is she was fully covered and being treated until the day she died.

    He lied AGIAN

    June 22, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      Source NOW or I call BS.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  20. sweetkimberly

    I am self employed and make over $80K per year. I am single with no dependents. I have been denied coverage from 29 health insurance companies for a pre-existing condition. It's not cancer. It's not diabetes. It's hypothyroidism which is very common disease. I make great money and I work very hard.
    I dream of paying a health insurance premium of $500 – $600 per month for myself. If I'm in an accident or get a major illness I will lose everything I own. I'm tired of listening to people say that people without health insurance are lazy. There are millions of people just like me. We can afford and would pay for health insurance but no insurance company will cover us.

    June 22, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. gahh

    Yet we continue to pay for illegals health care, thanks to the morons on the Supreme Court that said we had to. A story on the ABC Evening News showed an illegal in the hospital in LA. Her hospital bill was over a million dollars, and the family filed a lawsuit because the hospital wanted this illegal transferred to a nursing home, and the family didn't. They wanted her to continue being in the hospital. How much sense does this make? This woman is an illegal, she's not even supposed to be in this country. While this goes on, legal Americans die.

    June 22, 2012 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Dean Rogers

    Republican Death Panel = House Republicans failure to support Universal Health Care

    June 22, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Metron

    What a huge lie. NOBODY has ever died due to lack of insurance. Insurance does not kill or save lives. It's just a manner of providing for reimbursement of medical benefits – after the fact, after the act. That's it. Dumb.

    June 22, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sampler

      If you don't have insurance the hospital will not perform many of the tests needed and MOST of the time the hospital will want to kick you to the curb as quickly as possible regardless of how sick. There are studies that show that you have at LEAST a 1.5% increase of death if you are medically uninsured and in a car accident vs. privately insured (as in private health insurance, ALL car accident victims had car insurance).

      A hospital and doctor will chose a treatment plan depending on your ability to pay, which means that it definitely is NOT after the fact.

      June 23, 2012 at 01:31 | Report abuse |
    • Sharp

      So, You believe in fairy tales? Let me tell you the one about the handsome prince & the pretty princess in the tall tower. You will like that one too.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • paramad

      Just one of the examples of lack of insurance kills.
      A young beautiful illegal Mexican girl came to us with headaches, seizure like activity. We would normally do a Cat scan she refused because she did not have insurance and the bill would have been extreme. She died from basically what would be called Trichinosis which we could have diagnosed and probably saved her.
      I work in an emergency room and I can give some more examples that no insurance kills.
      Go volunteer in a hospital and find out what really goes on before you make accusations and claims that are so dreadfully wrong.

      June 23, 2012 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
  24. collateral_damage

    more people die from car accidents...but everyone wants to be a savior. next, you'll read about the poor and ill not being afforded "new long life" designer drugs. humans weren't designed to live forever. just memories.

    June 23, 2012 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Olena

      It's true that people were not meant to live forever, but if your child was diagnosed with an often fatal illness that could be cured by health care, would you deny the care?

      August 1, 2012 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
  25. hexman13

    Gee! This is unheard of in Canada and other caring nations.

    June 23, 2012 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      Obviously the United States is no longer a caring nation. What a surprise!!

      June 23, 2012 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
  26. eroteme

    We know now how many died wihout health insurance. I wonder how many died with health insurance.

    June 23, 2012 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Olena

      That would probably be everyone else who dies in the year. However, a better comparison would be of how many premature deaths could have been prevented had health insurance been provided to the uninsured.

      August 1, 2012 at 21:03 | Report abuse |
  27. Steve Lyons

    Well I have no problem with the advocacy group committing themselves to raising PRIVATE funds to purchase insurance for these folks, but I have a severe problem with advocacy groups demanding I fund the insurance of others through the force of government. Charity is personal giving. Extortion of the forced confiscation of someone else's assets or wages. This whole concept of wealth redistribution is a communist plot.

    June 23, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. agoac

    Over 3,000 died in California.

    And I'm sure none of those counted were illegal aliens, right?

    June 23, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. bs

    26,000 out of a population of around 330,000,000, a fraction of one percent. An issue afection a fraction of 1% of the population in no way is an emergency nor does it justify gutting a system that works just fine for over 99% of the population.

    June 23, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      Even one unnecessary death is too many for decent people. I guess that leaves you out.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • Olena

      In the richest country of the world, even one is too many. Most people would probably think and feel differently if one of the 26,000 were their child.

      August 1, 2012 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  30. Johnny

    A disgusting country in term of health care access.

    June 23, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      The Europeans have a saying," Don't get sick in America."

      June 23, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
  31. Lucy

    So bs thinks that 26,000 people dying from the sole reason they do not have helath insurance is OK? The system doesn't "work fine" for "over 99% of the populattion", it perhaps works fine for 1% of the population, which fortunately I belong to. Would bs feel the same way if it was a family memeber who died because they didn't have health insurance? Unfortunately I think the answer would yes.

    June 23, 2012 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bs

      According to the last stat available, 86% of the US population had some form of health insurance. Of the 14% that didn't a sizeable number had it available, but made the choice not to have it.

      I expect the numbers have changed a bit with the current recession, but I'd expect it's still in the 75% insured range. Of course the fact that the uninsured still have access to healthcare in the US is another thing the promoters of socialized healthcare don't want you to realize.

      I just spent a couple weeks in the UK, the poster child for socialized healthcare. While there I noted a number of stories in their media on how their NHS is failing. Nearly everyone I talked to indicated the NHS was ok for basic and emergency care and inadequate for most other care. Most of these people also had private insurance and indicated they would never consider giving that up.

      June 23, 2012 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  32. Steve Lyons

    So how many die with insurance that denies claims? Let's put the relevant numbers up here and discuss the issue of cost shifting. Let's address the issue of why medicare coverage is so much better than private insurance, and where those claims are paid. Don't just give a snippet deal with ALL the facts and then discuss your snippet.

    June 23, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Time Bandit

    " The report found that the reasons for being uninsured varied, but many of those without health insurance had coverage denied because of pre-existing conditions. Others have been priced out of the market on the heels of a failing economy – a time when keeping their homes and feeding their families took precedence over holding on to insurance in the face of rising premiums. And some lost their benefits when employers stopped providing coverage."

    For 30+ years, I had benefits through my employers. I rarely if ever used them, only for yearly exams and physicals. In 2010 I was laid off after working 10 years for the Navy as a contractor in DC, I tried getting health coverage, I have no problem paying, I was denied. I wasn't demied because of my excellent health history, I wasn't denied because I have no pre-exsiting conditions or health problems, I wasn't denied because I was 51 years old, I wasn't denied because I only go to the Dr yearly for female check ups. The letter I got said I was denied because I was overweight, they considered me a risk. They don't take into account all the other factors, just that I was overweight. So, for now, I go without. They don't my money? I guess I will put it in the bank and ave it for when I will need it, if I end up in the hospital then I'll go in as a charity case....if illegals, who pay nothing to this country, can do it...why can't I, who does pay taxes faithfully every year?

    June 23, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      And the Supreme Court, which Bush packed with Fascists, is poised to strike down the Affordable Health Care Act which would have fixed your problems.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
  34. Just another Number

    My dad died last year at the age of 63 from a stroke caused by diabetes and hypertension – both of which were undiagnosed.

    His entire adult life he was a hard worker in the construction industry – an award winning superintendent, and later a general contractor. When the economy tanked he lost his job, and with that he lost his health insurance and eventually his home. As the stock market crashed, his retirement dried to dust.

    In 2010 he picked up some work, but they wouldn't cover insurance, and didn't pay enough for him to buy it himself. When he died he was living out of a motel that he moved to so he could be near his new job. He was 600 miles from his home and his family.

    His death was 100% preventable. He was a strong, vital, hard working person who had many, many years left to live. Health care should never be something that gets put off because it's too expensive. LIFE should not come with a price tag.

    June 23, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      Every social advance that Americans have gained in the past hundred years was fought tooth & nail by the GOP. They are busily trying to gut Social Security & Medicare right now. Remember that in November.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
  35. paramad

    First maybe Obama's healthcare attempt is not perfect but it is a start. As Americans we are supposed to be so inventive and resourceful. why can't we figure it out like the rest of the industrialized world. Check yourself where we stand in the world regarding healthcare, we should be ashamed.
    We need to divorce healthcare from insurance companies. Overhaul malpractice, start reeling in the drug companies begin to address our increasingly sedentary life style get adults and kids off of their butts and give the 99% a chance to have access to healthcare.
    We have socialized medicine now it's just corrupt and unfair. Every one of you is paying higher premiums, higher hospital costs because of the uninsured, a great amount of spurious medical litigation and pharma not to mention all the side stuff you don't even know about.
    Who is against health reform? Follow the money! Do your home work and prove to the rest of us on this forum that the United States has the best healthcare in the world for the amount of money we pay and the availability.

    June 23, 2012 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharp

      Good luck fighting the big insurance companies. They control TRILLIONS of dollars. They are more powerful than most countries. After Citizens United they have the means & the right to buy every election in the country many times over. A moment of silence for the late, great experiment that was the United States.

      June 23, 2012 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
  36. Sharp

    In a statement the Republican National Committee spokesperson Karl Rove said," We find those statistics to be unacceptable." "We hope to at least quadruple those figures after we re-take congress."

    June 23, 2012 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. paramad

    One more thing to add about illegal aliens. If you think they are sponging off our medical system. Don't hire them! Why is there so much griping about illegals when they clean your homes, make your food, pick your fruit,mow your lawns etc etc.
    All you whiners should be organizing a national movement to fire all illegals and send them home but you won't because America would curl up and die. Everyone likes the fact that illegals work hard and you don't have to pay them anything and if they die in the street you can just get more.Why give them healthcare?
    I imagine the ancient Romans and Greeks probably griped about their slaves as each of their respective civilisations went belly up.
    Healthcare to the deserving.

    June 23, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. paramad

    O bs my wife corresponds with several people in the UK and one woman just lost her husband to cancer he was a school teacher she had a part time job, two children. Total cost for his year long battle, ZERO.
    Any ideas how that would have worked out in the US?

    June 23, 2012 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bs

      If you honestly believe the cost was zero, you are willfully blinding yourself to the truth. The UK NHS is the single largest employer in the UK, the UK populace pays an enormous amount for that NHS, though many do not realize it since the cost is hiden in many different places ranging from their 20% VAT tax, to their $6/gal petrol, and many other places. They pay in far more than the average insured American pays.

      June 24, 2012 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
  39. adam...

    This is total......??? first of all, I'm in the trenches of health care and see folks that are not citizens WITHOUT insurance that get care on our $$$?????? In addition, I had a conversation today about somebody who had no insurance, they had outstanding care, surgery, ICU,, stents placed, and now being taking care of...so this is purely not true. If this OBAMA ruling should go through, we are all in trouble....ohhhhh....sorry, anyone that works for the government won't have the same health care...hmmmm.wonder why....things are already changing...hold on tight if this goes through...

    June 23, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Yawn

    Frankly I don't know how most people afford health coverage even in the upper middle class. For me and one child, I'm spending nearly $600 a month for basic coverage and a high deductible. I make probably what would be considered a comfortable living, and yet this expense is no joke. How the heck are people paying for this??

    June 23, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Carol Cleary

    I read so many claiming that hospital costs are out of reach. Here's hopefully a little illumination to those costs: 1. Electricity. The hospital uses it. They use A LOT of it. The cost is part of that $10 tums, and $10 gloves. It is itemized so the insurance company will accept it as a reasonable and customary cost. 2. Salaries. People do not work for free. When you go to the hospital, you are served by Doctors, Nurses, CNA's, Patient care providers, electricians, maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, food service, business and builling, risk management...on and on. Your bill also covers salaries. (If they DID NOT apportion part of your bill for salaries, WHERE would the money come from to pay for the services you required?) 3. Property. Equipment breaks. Land isn't free. Parking lots need repaired. Roofs leak. Air conditioning breaks down. Part of your bill pays for this. 4. Legal services. Risk management and lawyers are on retainer and work for the hospital. 5. Fees – particular services, such as birthing, require a specific amount of money to be put into funds to cover law suits and damages. 5. Tort claims. Both legitimate and frivolous law suits are presented and cost money. The fact is that, if you choose to use a hospital's services, YOU are responsible for these charges.
    As for those of you who say to go to a cash system would solve problems, I would like to enlighten you. Not all problems are solved by an aspirin or tylenol. Some problems do NOT go away with treatment – they are ongoing – there will never be an end to the problem. Just more treatments. Paying cash out of pocket causes people to wait longer to seek help, hoping the problem goes away. By the time help is sought, the problem is paramount. This is the real cost of paying out of pocket. WHY is healthcare an issue here in the U.S.? It is because we have lost empathy with people. We have become judgmental, and have decided that ALL people should be made in our own image. Sad.

    June 24, 2012 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Billy Boy

    The statistics are bull s*h(it. There's all this hype going around that reports things like USA is 40th down the list for infant mortality or that more people die prematurely bc they don't have healthcare... or that California had 3124 premature deaths in 5 years whereas Vermont only had 24... really? REALLY??????!!!! hmmm. Let's see... how many illegal aliens are there in Vermont? 5? How about California? hmmm. Get the picture? Statistics are as skewed as whatever they are trying to 'prove' is 'truth'. Get the illegals OUT of the country, we don't need them for anything. They are destroying this country. Time to change the laws so that illegals who have babies here do not get to use those kids as 'anchors'... bc the kids would not be given American citizenship. Time for conservatives to take over. Thank God that I live in Texas where I am armed and ready to get 'involved'... just secede Texas... we'll join up with Arizona and build our own fence.

    June 24, 2012 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Olena

      Believe it or not, there are over 40 million U.S. citizens that do not have health care. I suspect that many of the 26,000 fall into that demographic. Should we kick them out of the US to make it so that 0 people die without health care? Kicking out illegals will not solve this problem.

      August 1, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse |
  43. Andrea

    In six weeks my boyfriend and I will become permanent residents in Canada (we are Americans, born and raised). We are not moving there because of healthcare, but it is a major perk, especially for myself who has been without healthcare most of her life (I am 31). We both have master's degrees, his in math mine in english, so we are going to be part of that brain drain that is occuring in the US as well. My father has stated wlel if you don't like it there you can always come back. My comment: I would rather move somewhere else in Canada than give up the healthcare once I have it. Numerous part-time college teaching jobs and fulltime jobs I've had in my life did not provide healthcare or provide an affordable healthcare option. Whenever I did have healthcare in grad school, it was limited and had outrageous copays. I never saw a health insurance plan that was "good". My parents have lived most of their lives without healthcare since my father was self-employed. It was just better to make sure you never got around anyone who was sick and pay as you went than paying for insurance for us. Honestly, I am disgusted by our current system and greed and relieved to be leaving the country. As the dem's and rep's fight amongst themselves, nothing is getting done and nearly all my friends in my age group 24-35 that I know are without healthcare so we are hurting the youth the most. Something needs to be done, but I am not sticking around waiting for universal healthcare.

    June 24, 2012 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Paula

    I worked since I was eleven and had employer insurance from the time I was 18 years old. That was until I was forced to retire with Disabilities at 52 years of age. After a two year waiting period without insurance, I became eligible for Medicare. I've been in hospital a few times, with the Medicare Insurance and guess what, the doctors order more tests and lab work than I ever got with good insurance, while I worked. It seems like when they see I have Medicare, they are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the money they can make by bringing in more doctors and doing more procedures. My first visit each new year, to any doctor, costs me $145.00. My doctor office charged me $187.99 for a one hour vist. Problem was, I only saw the doctor for 1/2 hour. This way they get Medicare money and my money. Doctors will not call in prescriptions anymore either. They demand you see the doctor for the script each month. Ridiculous and shameful for doctors who have learned the right codes Medicare will pay for without question. Doctors claim they aren't making money, but I've see them take regular expensive holidays and they all drive expensive cars, live in big expensive houses, in good neighborhoods and they send their kids to nice colleges.

    June 24, 2012 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Tom

    Even with the health care act intact, there will be 20 million + left w/o insurance. This problem will not go away.

    June 24, 2012 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. ptsdLOADING

    The rich just want the poor to die! Reigning death from above – your mission is succeeding! Pick your sides people – Are you the Oppression or the Revolution?!

    June 24, 2012 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. codery lang

    If you middle class with no insurance, my advise to you is don't get sick, I make a decent wage, money in the bank and a little in savings, however, where i work they don't provide healthcare so i'm on my own, I could be cleaned out with just one hospital visit, its a ticking time bomb. But i'm not for obamacare, i think it will cost too much and will not work "too much red tape". The people most at risk is the ones that can't afford healthcare insurance, the rich have coverage, the poor gets a free ride, but its the middle class that are getting burned. I think healthcare should be paid by everyone, including the poor, "no more excuses, no more free rides" but should be based on usage, the more you use it the more you pay.

    June 24, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • revolting peasant

      You have an interesting perspective. You know you can't afford to pay for serious treatment, yet you voluntarily go without healthcare. What would you propose the government do with people like you should you ever rack up a hospital bill? Do they take your house? Do they put you and your family into debtors prison? Can they attach your wages for the rest of your life? Would you prefer they just let you die?

      June 24, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • revolting peasant

      I have 90 people working for me. The most common complaint I hear from them is that my company's health insurance policy has a family deductable. One of my employees had to pay $1500 out of pocket last year and he was ready to quit his job over it. (This employee makes about $150K per year!) Culturally, people don't want to pay for the healthcare that they consume. It is not their fault that they or a family member got sick. So, one choice is to let people pay for what they use. The other choice is a collective underwriting system (health insurance) that distributes the burdon across society. The latter just makes better mathematical and practical sense, except that it only works if people participate.

      June 24, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  48. Dino

    Republican politicians: Why can't Democrats stop being so divisive and partisan and just let the people get sick and die?

    June 24, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rick springfield

    There really is no such thing as a lack of heath care for the poor. It is a lack of education of the poor. I was making $15,000 per year not too long ago and got sick and had to enter the hospital for 3 days. When I was let go with no bill, they admitted me to a medical school operated health program. It was a total body care program of urology, general medicine, and vision care. Senior residents would do the exams and the senior medical faculty members would sign off on treatments. People learning how to run imaging systems would do the x-rays and cat scans. I felt like a president because there was nothing the medical school would not do if I needed it. The only bill was a $25 clinic fee. They would forgive it if I was not able to pay. Now I make around $32,000 and have insurance. I am still at the clinic except that they can now bill my insurer for the services they provide. That's my way of saying thanks for 8 years of service. They don't bill me and just take whatever the insurer gives them. They are happy to get it. If there is any difference, its being treated better at check in. I'm on the insured lists and they get me in and out much faster.

    June 24, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Nodack

    Regardless of what anybody thinks we as Americans pay twice as much for health care than anybody else on the planet. Illness is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US. This advocacy group says 26,000 Americans die every year because they didn't have insurance. Harvard also did a study and they say that 45,000 Americans die every year because they didn't have health insurance. Republicans will say that is a bunch of BS, but won't have any facts to back that up besides some friend they know that thinks poor people get free health care. Republicans say that Universal Health care cannot possibly work and that it costs more than our system. The entire industrialized world other than the US ALREADY has Universal
    health care and we pay twice as much as any of them. Republicans will say look at Greece, they are poor because of it. If they had our system they would be twice as poor.

    Democrats have made an attempt to reform health care to make it more affordable and accessible to all Americans. What have Republicans done about our super high health care costs? Nothing. What do Republicans plan to do about our health care situation? They plan on repealing Obamacare and then doing nothing.

    We have a "for profit" based system unlike other countries that place the priority on saving lives instead of profit only. We have the best cancer treatment of any country, but the worst cancer prevention because there is no money in preventing illness, only treating it.

    June 24, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.