Insurance and Mortality

I cannot believe that Ezra Klein had to even waste time arguing over the fact that lack of insurance leads to increased mortality. He’s been engaged in such a debate in the blogosphere for the last few days and provides what might be his “closing argument” here.

There certainly is no argument with the opposing view that those who are at immediate threat of loss of life will receive emergency care even if uninsured.  However, while such people will not be turned away from an emergency room, the care they receive afterward can still differ from those who are insured and this has been demonstrated to affect mortality.

To deny the effects on mortality of lack of insurance is also to deny that both preventative medicine and long term care of chronic disease have an effect on mortality. Both claims are absurd, and Klein does provide evidence to support what we would think.

While there is no question that lack of insurance does increase mortality, there is a legitimate question as to the actual numbers. Klein cites a number of 18,000 people dying a year due to lack of health insurance. There are other numbers floating around but, regardless of the exact number, in terms of mortality we have the equivalent of multiple 9/11 attacks every year due to lack of health care coverage.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Ron Chusid says:

    I can't believe that Ezra Klein had to spend the last few days showing relationship between insurance & mortality. http://bit.ly/cGI3e7 #p2

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