Thursday, December 04, 2008

The uninsured are everywhere (and they are dying)

From a Chicago tribune newsblog:
13.3 percent of 50 to 64 year old Illinoisans -- 287,084 adults -- are uninsured.

What I think would really surprise folks is that of those 287,000 uninsured folks only a quarter have incomes below the poverty line. We often dismiss the uninsured as folks who are low-income and disenfranchised in other ways as well. But the uninsured are folks just like you and me.

These are often folks who can’t get health insurance in the open market because of pre-existing medical conditions. Think about it, people who need health coverage the most are excluded. Therefore these folks will get/be sicker. Their health problems can affect the community as well. They will have increased use of the ER and emergent hospital use, which means more expensive healthcare for them and others who’s medical insurance and other payments pickup the tab for the unreimbursed care.

Something has to be done with the system now. The lack of healthcare coverage is hurting folks like you and me, it is dragging down the economy for a number of reasons, and we are seeing people dying as a result of our broken system. It needs to stop.

Want some more information? HCAN (Health Care for America Now): A great movement and good site of information.

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