Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Healthcare reform to forestall death and treat economic dis-ease

I was talking with a reporter yesterday and he brought up that I have posted a few times about the lethal effects of the lack of healthcare coverage in our county/country. He asked if I thought people were as aware of that crisis as they ought to be. I don’t think that they are, but as this economic crisis feeds the access to healthcare crisis it is being brought home for more and more people, unfortunately. While my feelings on this matter were first painted by my experiences in ER Medicine, at HealthReach (a free medical clinic I founded and served as Medical Director and Executive Director) , and the Lake County Health Dept., my experiences as Coroner have reinforced my feeling that lack of healthcare access is lethal. So I thought I’d throw out some related facts and comments I ran across lately (not sure just where).
Health care reform is an essential part of restoring America’s overall economy and the finances of working families.
15.3% of Americans lack health insurance
23% forgo necessary care every year due to cost
22,000 uninsured adults die prematurely each year as a direct result of lacking access to care
Health insurance premiums have increased 117% for families and individuals in the last decade
Health insurance premiums have increased 119% for employers in the last decade

I have been surprised that the automakers haven’t screamed for healthcare reform because
$1525 of the price of every GM auto is due to healthcare costs

New American Foundation:
We must reform our struggling health care system not in spite of our economic crisis, but rather because of the impact healthcare has on the American economy

Healthcare reform has to happen now, not only because it is a social justice issue, but because it is a central economic issue as well. It really can go a long way toward forestalling death and help personal and societal financial dis-ease.

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