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Prelude to a SCOTUS Decision

Posted by John McDonough  June 20, 2012 10:50 PM

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Back in 2002, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences released a compelling report, Care without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late, estimating that approximately 18,000 adults between 25 and 64 died in 2000 because they didn't have health insurance.

Today, the national consumer organization, Families USA, released a new report, Dying for Coverage: The Deadly Consequences of Being Uninsured, using the IOM's methodology to update the analysis and to provide state-by-state estimates of adult deaths in the US due to uninsurance.(Disclosure -- I am on the board of Families USA.)

Results: 26,100 adults age 25 to 64 died in 2010 due to lack of health insurance,134,120 between 2005 and 2010.

Another study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Public Health used a different methodology and pegged the number of deaths due to uninsurance much higher, just below 45,000.

26,000 to 45,000 -- bottom line, tens of thousands of Americans die every year because they lack insurance coverage. No other nation that considers itself advanced allows this to happen; not one. And for every dollar we spend in the US on medical care, the second most expensive nation (Norway) spends about 65 cents.

I have no idea what the Supreme Court will announce tomorrow -- or Monday -- or Thursday next. Yet it says a lot that we are all waiting to find out if our highest court will throw out the law which will do more than any law in our history to erase this travesty.

Fasten your seat belts.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

John E. McDonough is a professor of practice at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the author of the book “Inside National Health Reform”, published in 2011 by More »

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