A report from a non-partisan group predicts the failure to enact health care reform this year will lead to nearly 300,000 premature deaths nationwide in the next decade, along with the deaths of hundreds of Iowans. Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, says the report also looked at the past decade-and-a-half and found thousands of needless deaths.
“Approximately 295,000 people died due to a lack of health coverage,” Pollack says. “Here’s what we learned about that 15-year period. In Iowa, about 1,600 people between the ages of 25 and 64 died due to a lack of health insurance coverage.” Pollack says they also have estimated statistics for the next ten years if there’s no health care reform.
“In Iowa, we estimate that approximately 1,500 people will die in the next decade due to a lack of health care coverage, if health reform fails,” Pollack says. “On average, that would be approximately three (Iowans) dying per week over the next 10 years due to lack of health coverage.”
Pollack says this is because those who are without insurance, or who are under-insured, are less likely to have regular check-ups. They’re also not screened for possible illnesses and get no preventative care. Many people without insurance delay care even if they are in pain, just hoping it will go away. He says this needs to change.
“Hundreds of thousands will die needlessly and prematurely over the next decade because our terribly flawed health care system excludes these ordinary Americans,” Pollack says. “Failure to pass health care reform, in effect doing nothing to make health coverage and care affordable, results in a huge and terrible cost.”
Pollack says if Congress fails to pass health care reform, “we may continue to pay in tragic, unnecessary deaths for years to come.” The report from the non-profit Families USA is called: “Lives on the Line: The Deadly Cost of Delaying Health Reform.” To read more, visit: “www.familiesusa.org“.
By Karla James