Advocacy Group: Three Americans Without Health Insurance Die Every Hour – The Feminist Wire

Advocacy Group: Three Americans Without Health Insurance Die Every Hour

Residents of Oakland, CA are provided routine dental exams and cleanings at a free clinic in 2011.

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. That is roughly three Americans every hour.

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 due to the poor economy – a time when keeping their homes and feeding their families took precedence over holding on to insurance in the face of rising premiums. 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.

Families USA has been a staunch supporter of President Obama’s healthcare reform measures, and say the current delivery system is stacked against those without insurance. The uninsured pay more for care because they can’t negotiate discounted prices on doctor and hospital charges like insurance companies can.

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.

Read more: CNN Blog