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March 23, 2008

Report: Health insurance a matter of life or death

Each day, local newspapers run obituaries of Iowans who have died. Causes of death range from cancer to car accidents. It's unlikely anyone recalls seeing "lack of health insurance" as a reason for death.

However, about three obituaries each week should list that cause, according to a new report from Families USA, a national organization for health-care consumers. Nearly three Iowans die each week in part because they don't have health insurance, the report found. Many have serious illnesses that could have been treated effectively if detected earlier.

"The conclusions are sadly clear - a lack of health coverage is a matter of life and death for many Iowans," said executive director Ron Pollack.

This is relevant information as the lawmakers consider health reforms. Much of the conversation at the Statehouse is centered on insuring children - a less costly and easier group to cover because many are eligible for government programs.

It's a reminder that health reform must address coverage for this demographic of Americans. Unlike children and seniors, they frequently aren't eligible for government health insurance unless they're poor or disabled. Private health insurance may not be offered through an employer or is unaffordable.

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Posted by healthinsurance at March 23, 2008 08:24 PM

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