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A recent study published in the Archives of Surgery as reported by the L.A. Times newspaper suggests that patients who visited U.S. trauma centers from 2002 to 2006 found the risk of death was 80% higher for those without any insurance. The study analyzed data from among 700,000 patients across several states to determine the findings.

If this is true then patients who lack health insurance seem to be much more likely to die of car accidents and other traumatic injuries than people who belong to a health plan even though emergency rooms are required to care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. These findings clearly show that the odds of death after an accidental injury for an uninsured person were close to twice the rate of someone with private insurance.

Although insurance status is not supposed to be a factor for trauma patients, this study shows otherwise. In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act which was suppose to guarantee that anyone brought to the emergency room will receive treatment regardless of ability to pay.

What has become abundantly clear is that these uninsured patients were much less likely to be screened for certain cancers and not as likely to be admitted to other specialty treatment facilities for follow up care and along with inadequate follow up procedures after the traumatic accident that they experienced. The cost of going uninsured seems to be much greater than the monthly premium may seem.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car,truck,railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, and KY.


One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Mike Bryant

    Yet, another example of why the issue of the health care bill should be about consumers and saving lives. The politics of division that have been used to oppose the discussion of real solutions have done nothing to help those really in need. It's important to continue to get this message out.

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