14 January 2008

Donna Smith is 47,000,001

Donna Smith blogged the other day at Michael Moore's Sicko blog that she's joined the ranks of the uninsured.

She emails today that it's not 18,300 deaths a year (estimate from the Institute of Medicine) any more. That's 50 per day, and we've all been using that figure for a long time. The number is now estimated at 22,000/year -- 137,000 from 2000-2006. Donna writes:
I wrote the blog about joining the ranks of the uninsured. In reviewing the Jan 2008 Urban Institute report raising the estimates of the dead due to a lack of insurance, I plan to write yet another blog hoping I will not become yet another statistic in 2008: 22,001. I'd have to write that piece in advance of being added to that list --
Anything for the cause, Donna, but that's a bridge too far...

And so what are the rest of us left feeling? There's guilt in with the anger. I won't name the people in my family who are uninsured, even after Paul's death. But I will say that they're not gaming the system any more than Donna is. If they could afford coverage they would have it.

How many families have to have uninsured members, and how many people have to die -- from underinsurance or from being uninsured -- before enough of us say enough.

I think we've reached the tipping point.

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