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By The Numbers: ‘The Breaking Point’ For American Health Care

By Guest Contributor  

"By The Numbers: ‘The Breaking Point’ For American Health Care"

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Our guest blogger is Emma Sandoe, Health Policy Intern at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Over the Congressional recess, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Mike Pence (R-IN), to name a few, attempted to scare seniors and Americans with erroneous claims that the health care reform proposals would “kill granny” and lead to death panels chalk full of government rationing.

While they were busy spreading these untruths across their states and nation with op-eds and Facebook updates, the health care crisis worsened. More Americans lost insurance and were turned away due to pre-existing conditions, the economy suffered the burden of a broken system, and our nation continues to pay the price of the millions of uninsured.

Last night, President Obama refocused Congress and the nation on the need for health care reform. “Our collective failure” to pass reform, “has led us to a breaking point,” he said. The chart below illustrates how our health care crisis is crippling our nation:


National Health Crisis Facts All of 2009 House Recess
Americans who are losing their health insurance, due to lost jobs in the economic downturn: 14,000 (per day) 532,000
Average amount families with insurance paid in premiums to cover the cost-shift from the uninsured: $1100 $115
Economic productivity lost, due to shortened lifespan and reduced health due to those without health insurance: Up to $248 billion Up to $26 billion
Americans who die because they are uninsured, and have untreated illness: 22,000 2,260
Medical spending that cannot be attributed to improved health: $700 billion $73 billion
Health care spending wasted on paperwork to manage individual market instead of the more efficient group market: $3 billion $312 million
Americans who die every year due to preventable medical errors: 98,000 10,203
Americans who were turned away or charged more for health insurance, over the last 3 years largely due to due discrimination to pre-existing conditions: 12.6 million (total, last three years) 437,260
Americans who were imposed with medical debt or who had difficulty paying medical bills: 3 million new (over past year) 312,329 new

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