Sunday, September 20, 2009

Harvard Medical School: 45,000 Americans Die Each Year Because They Lack Health Insurance

Here's something we could fix right now...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Unfortunately, we may not be able to do anything about this because Republicans are screaming that we can't afford it.

Maybe they have a point. We do have budget priorities, after all. We have to think about the $1 trillion dollars we've spent fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There's the $50 billion that we spend each year on the War on Drugs, which, while useless, does make sure that the prison/industrial complex keeps getting paid. And don't forget the $4 trillion we spent this year on bailing out big banks. Because our government can't govern effectively it its close friends lose their yachts.

With all these expenses, it's easy to see why spending $1 trillion over ten years, to save only 45,000 lives, just doesn't make sense.

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