Monday, February 18, 2008

Uninsured and Underinsured and Death by Cancer

A nationwide study has found that the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid are more likely than those with private insurance to receive a diagnosis of cancer in late stages, often diminishing their chances of survival.

At HealthReach (a free medical clinic for low-income, uninsured individuals that I founded and directed for several years) our patients could get some screening tests, but were often unable to get needed follow-up for positive screens. Other screening tests were out of their reach or the numbers were rationed because of our limited referral sources.

Uninsured and under-insured folks have huge problems accessing medical care and their increased death rates reflect that fact. Death due to lack of insurance exists (also see). Why does that continue?

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