Friday, April 28, 2006

Lastest Stats on Persons Without Health Insurance

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published the lastest statistics on the number persons without health insurance in preparation for Cover the Uninsured Week, May 1-7. Nationally, the number of person without health insurance has grown to 46 million, including 7 million between the ages of 50 and 64 . Forty percent of the uninsured people in the 50 to 64 age bracket live in the South.

Even more shocking, the report claims that 50 persons per day, 18.000 per year, die because they do not have health insurance or the funds to pay for required medical care. As a volunteer for a local non-profit that has a phone bank to connect people to local health resources, I took a call from a women who's mother had just been told that her breast cancer had reoccured. When she was originallly diagnosed she had health insurace and recevied treatment. She now uninsured and was told that she sould not receive additional treatment without insurance or the funds to pay for them. She had neither and eventally died.

I do the financial and accounting work for a local free clinic(we have three in our county of 400,000) and we are constantly overloaded with patients that have no insurance or private funds. If we have the capacity for the doctor to see 30 patients we often have 45 people apply. The clinics take some of the loads off the emergency rooms, but there is still a tremendous unmet need for basic medical care.

According to international healthcare surveys, Americans pay the most per capita for medical care and receive the seventh best level of care in the developed world. We are spending the money, it just isn't being spent wisely.

Reported by: Duane B. on April 27, 2006


Post a Comment

<< Home