|Dying for Coverage in Louisiana
It is estimated that nearly two people die each day in Louisiana because they do not have health insurance. For the more than 47 million Americans who are uninsured, lack of health insurance can and does have dire consequences—medical debt, missed care, and even premature death. In 2006, there were nearly 2,107,000 people between the ages of 25 and 64 living in Louisiana. Of those, 26.2 percent were uninsured. Uninsured Louisianans are sicker and die sooner than their insured counterparts. The uninsured are less likely to seek care from a primary doctor outside the emergency room which is the highest cost of care within the health system. Also, the uninsured often go without health screenings and preventive care which could result in a disease or condition being caught early enough to control. All of us struggle with rising health care costs, but our neighbors who do not have access to health insurance can be subject to harsher – even fatal – consequences. During this election year, it’s time we put health care first.