Health Care Reform Could Save Lives

Republicans in the House of Representatives say they will pass a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care reform legislation signed by President Obama last year. This repeal is mostly political posturing, as the repeal would not pass the Senate and would never be signed by the president. However, our elected officials need to know that when they oppose health care reform they are not acting in the best interest of the public.

In an earlier post, I cited several studies published in medical journals that demonstrate Americans without health insurance experience worse medical outcomes than those with insurance.

Here are excerpts from a few of the many other studies published in medical journals demonstrating that lack of insurance leads to poorer medical outcomes:

“Among the general U.S. population, patients who were uninsured were less likely to receive critical care services than those with insurance. Once admitted to the intensive care unit, patients who were uninsured had 8.5% fewer procedures, were more likely to experience hospital discharge delays, and were more likely to have life support withdrawn. Lack of insurance may confer an independent risk of death for patients who are critically ill.”
–Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 May 1;181(9):1003-11.
An official American Thoracic Society systematic review: the association between health insurance status and access, care delivery, and outcomes for patients who are critically ill.
Fowler RA, Noyahr LA, Thornton JD, Pinto R, Kahn JM, Adhikari NK, Dodek PM, Khan NA, Kalb T, Hill A, O'Brien JM, Evans D, Curtis JR.

“Compared with those with health insurance, the uninsured receive less care for chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, and experience higher mortality.”
–Am J Med. 2010 Aug;123(8):741-7.
Health insurance and cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Brooks EL, Preis SR, Hwang SJ, Murabito JM, Benjamin EJ, Kelly-Hayes M, Sorlie P, Levy D.

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