National Health Program and professor of clinical medicine and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, has called lack of health insurance a "major public health disaster".
Approximately 47 million (up from 31 million in 1987) people in the United States are uninsured and the consequences are dire. Dr. Fein also stated that "these people are going to end up with complications of their illnesses prematurely. They will be disabled early. They will probably die younger. Longer-term, there will be expensive admissions to hospitals, usually through the emergency department, due to diabetes out of control and congestive heart failure because of hypertension."
12,500 adults were interviewed in a National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES).
"This is something that is very true in my clinical experience," said Dr. Andrew Wilper, instructor in medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. "The uninsured can't get in to see the doctor, they miss medications, their blood pressure is out of control and, really, you see devastating consequences." Wilper was a fellow in general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School while conducting the study.
The data gathered has shown that an “estimated 11.4 million working-age Americans with at least one of seven chronic medical conditions do not have health insurance.
This included 16.1 percent of the 7.8 million people with cardiovascular disease, 15.5 percent of the 38.2 million people with hypertension and 16.6 percent of the 8.5 million people with diabetes.
Other conditions examined were asthma, high cholesterol, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or a previous diagnosis of cancer.
"We found some pretty striking differences when we compared uninsured individuals with one of these seven conditions with insured individuals with one of the conditions," Wilper said.
About 26 percent of uninsured people reported no standard site of care, versus only 6.2 percent of those who had insurance.
More than 22 percent of uninsured individuals reported no visits to a health professional in the past year compared to 6.2 percent of insured people, and 7.1 percent of uninsured people with a chronic condition reported that the emergency room was their standard site of medical care, versus 1.1 percent of those carrying insurance.”
Source : http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_67745.html
Are you surprised at these findings? Do you think Universal Healthcare in America would lower these rather frightening numbers?
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