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Lack of Healthcare Leads to Avoidable Deaths
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A patient advocacy group says 1,700 people in Connecticut will die prematurely over the next decade if nothing is done to fix healthcare. Families USA has timed its report to coincide with a new push for reform from President Obama.  WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Families USA has based its figures on a method developed by the Institute of Medicine and the Urban Institute to estimate the numbers of people who will die prematurely in each state because they don’t have health coverage. Families USA claims that in the last 15 years, more than 2,000 people died in Connecticut because of a lack of health insurance. Yale obstetrician Dr. Eric Hodgson says he’s seen uninsured patients die from treatable conditions, because they did not seek routine tests.

'Many patients without insurance are afraid to get any testing done because they are concerned that if they were diagnosed with a problem, that they would not be able to pay for the treatment. I really believe that the cost of delaying healthcare reform is really too expensive, and unfortunately the cost is paid with our patients’ lives.'

Families USA has been supporting renewed efforts by the Democrats to pass healthcare reform, as a bipartisan summit opens in Washington DC.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.