Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Something is wrong in Washington

Huffington Post


While thousands of people die every year from lack of health care, while half-dozen veterans die everyday from lack of health care, while more soldiers die on home soil from lack of health care than in Afghanistan from enemy fire, Congress continues to debate the fine points of public option, of abortion, listening to the call of people like Sarah Palin who continues to spread falsehoods such as "bureaucrats denying care to seniors and disabled" probably until next year. Here is a news flash Ms Palin and all your Republican obstructionists: your inaction is killing more people than any bureacrats possible can.

There is something wrong with a system when the people who fight for the freedom and safety of others, who elected politicians who promised change, suffer at the hands of the very people who were given the power to help.

Perhaps the people in Congress will remember their duties on Veterans Day.


According to a study released by the Harvard Medical School, 2,266 veterans under the age of 65 died last year as a result of not having health insurance. Researchers emphasize that "that figure is more than 14 times the number of deaths (155) suffered by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2008, and more than twice as many as have died (911 as of Oct. 31) since the war began in 2001."

The 1.46 million working-age veterans that did not have health insurance last year all experienced reduced access to care as a consequence, leading to "six preventable deaths a day."

Like other uninsured Americans, most uninsured vets are working people -- too poor to afford private coverage but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or means-tested VA care," said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at Harvard Medical School. [...]

Dr. David Himmelstein, the co-author of the report and associate professor of medicine at Harvard, commented, "On this Veterans Day we should not only honor the nearly 500 soldiers who have died this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the more than 2,200 veterans who were killed by our broken health insurance system. That's six preventable deaths a day."

The study's authors warn that the health care legislation "would do virtually nothing for the uninsured until 2013" and would "leave at least 17 million uninsured over the long run when reform kicks in," leaving many veterans still without care.

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