According to the recently released results of a survey of 2,100 adults between the ages of 19 ad 64 in the U.S., about 48 million Americans (26%) were without health insurance for at least part of the year during 2011. Of those who had a gap in health insurance coverage in the U.S. in 2011, 69% were without health insurance for one year or longer and 57% had no health insurance coverage for two or more years. Job changes or job losses were responsible for most of the gaps in health insurance coverage — approximately 9 million Americans who lost their jobs between 2008 and 2010 that provided them with health insurance coverage became uninsured.
Almost one-half of the people surveyed indicated that they had tried to obtain health insurance coverage during the past three years but did not buy health insurance. Of those people, 62% indicated that the reason that they did not obtain health insurance was because the premiums were too high.
60% of the people surveyed who attempted to purchase health insurance coverage indicated that it was difficult for them to compare the various coverages of the different health care plans. Almost one-third of those surveyed indicated that the health insurance company refused to sell them a policy, raised the premiums that they would charge, or excluded pre-existing medical conditions.
The survey found that people without heath insurance are less likely to have their own regular doctor and are less likely to receive preventative medical care such as checking blood pressure and monitoring cholesterol levels.
It is a national disgrace as well as a national financial burden that many Americans are living without health insurance coverage. Because so many people obtain health insurance coverage through their employer or their spouse/significant other’s employer, the loss of a job means not only the loss of income that is necessary to support a family, but also puts at serious risk the health of family members who can no longer afford the medical care they need — by putting off preventative medical care such as blood pressure monitoring and cholesterol monitoring, people are risking their health and well-being and may develop diseases that are diagnosed and treated at later stages when the chances of a cure are reduced and physical and mental suffering are increased.
When people delay medical treatment or forgo medical testing because they do not have health insurance to pay for the necessary medical care, the rest of society incurs the burden of the uninsured medical costs because it falls upon state and federal resources such as Medicaid to pay for the care that the uninsured receive in hospitals and in medical clinics.
Laws in the United States insure that children are able to receive a free education through adolescence, which all people recognize as essential to providing them with the minimum opportunities to succeed in life. Perhaps it is time for laws to insure that all people in the United States are provided with health insurance coverage and medical care opportunities to insure that they receive at least the minimum level of medical services necessary to live and maintain a healthy existence.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or losses as a result of possible medical malpractice in the United States, you may wish to consult with a local medical malpractice attorney who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you.
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