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August 30, 2014 | 4th Elul 5774

The Burden of Being Uninsured

  • In any given year, 1/3 of the uninsured go without needed medical care.
  • Eight million uninsured Americans fail to take medication their doctors prescribe--because they cannot afford to fill the prescription.
  • Two hundred and seventy thousand children suffering from asthma never see a doctor. Three hundred and fifty thousand children with recurrent earaches never see a doctor. More than three hundred and fifty thousand children with severe sore throats never see a doctor.
  • 27,000 uninsured women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. They are twice as likely as insured women not to receive medical treatment until their cancer has already spread in their bodies. As a result, they are 50% more likely to die of the disease.
  • 32,000 Americans with heart disease go without life-saving and life-enhancing bypass surgery or angioplasty – because they are uninsured.
  • Whether the disease is AIDS or mental illness or cancer or heart disease or diabetes, the uninsured are left out and left behind. In hospital and out, young or old, black or white, they receive less care, suffer more, and are 25% more likely to die than those who are insured.
  • Medical costs account for about half of all bankruptcies, affecting over 2 million people annually. More than 9 million families spend more than 1/5 of their total income on medical costs.

Comments

Sharon Davis-Lang

January 8, 2013
01:18 PM

There are no words to describe the many years of struggling to keep insulin in the fridge for my Type 1 Diabetic son. He was diagnosed at the age of 3yrs and is now 21yrs old. A little equality would be merciful. In 1998 when the insulin "Humolog" came on the market in then (Homer Alaska) it was $25 per 10ml vile. "Lantus" runs $175 to $205 a 10ml vile as a cash price. My son called a couple summers ago from Nome where he bought insulin at the Native Hospital Pharmacy and it was $60 cash price. The US government negotiates health pricing for the military and BIA then why not the rest of the population? It is a strange frustration to not be insured or able to get insurance for a "sane" price. It is a strange frustration for a young man to be over the age of 19yrs and under the age of 65yrs and have to continually apply for Medicaid to get insulin. To be forced into poverty continually. Interesting times.

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