HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Health Care By the Numbers

Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake makes the case for comprehensive health reform.  She provides some updated numbers and writes,

From the Frontline documentary "Sick Around America:

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, around 20,000 Americans die each year because they can't get the healthcare they need.

You cannot reform medical care and coverage without (a) covering everyone and (b) controlling costs. But how you get from here to there? That's the bazillion dollar question. . . .

-- Small businesses are fed up with rapidly rising costs and want changes.

-- Health insurers may finally be seeing the handwriting on the wall and have begun to offer some concessions.

-- Numbers of uninsured Americans are swelling rapidly:

From 1994 to 2007, the number of Americans without health insurance increased by almost 9 million....

-- How do we even define health care and its related needs? That's a subject of considerable debate.

-- But public support is rising for a total overhaul of the healthcare system. With one in five Americans lacking health insurance, the need is growing:

"The case for reform couldn't be clearer," Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a news release from the organization, which focuses on health and health-care issues. "Further inaction means that costs rise, businesses struggle and workers go without. As high as the numbers of uninsured people seem to be, they don't even reflect the current crisis, with millions of Americans losing their jobs, which puts their insurance status in jeopardy. And the more people who become uninsured, the harder it is on our health-care system."

So, how do we answer all the remaining questions and resolve the myriad of enormous problems? That's the next step. . . .

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