No insurance? Consequences could be deadly

A lack of health insurance will result in the deaths of more than 275,000 Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 over the next decade, according to the report, "Lives on the Line: The Deadly Consequences of Delaying Health Reform," by the Washington, D.C.-based consumer health group Families USA. The number of premature deaths will grow from 68 per day in 2010 to 84 per day in 2019.

Families USA projects that these 12 states will have the largest number of coverage-related deaths in the next 10 years: California (34,600), Texas (31,700), Florida (25,400), New York (13,900), Georgia (11,500), North Carolina (9,600), Illinois (9,400), Ohio (8,900), Louisiana (7,700), Michigan (7,600), Pennsylvania (7,500) and Tennessee (7,500).

"When the people of this nation witness a tragic event that leads to multiple deaths, we raise our voices in indignation, and the nation rallies in response," says Executive Director Ron Pollack. "We cry out for investigations. We seek causes. We call for swift punishment for the guilty and removal of the inept. Yet, unseen, hundreds of thousands will die needlessly and prematurely over the next decade because our terribly flawed health care system excludes these ordinary Americans."

More than 290,000 adult Americans died prematurely from 1995 to 2009, the organization adds. Lack of insurance coverage is linked to premature death because uninsured Americans often use the emergency room as their primary care provider, go without preventive screenings and care, and delay or go without necessary medical care.

For more:
- see the New York Times article
- see the Families USA website