Floridians die each day due to lack of health care

03/26/08 Mitch E. Perry
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According to a health care advocacy group, more than six working age Floridians die each day due to lack of health insurance.

That sobering statistic, and several others were mentioned today during a conference call highlighting a new report by the Washington-based organization Families USA that documents how the lack of health insurance is literally killing Floridians.

Ron Pollock, executive director of Families USA, listed some of the obvious negative affects suffered by those who lack insurance.

Families USA’s report says that of the more than 9½ million people between the ages of 25 and 64 living in Florida in 2006, more than 25 percent of them lacked insurance. They say they collected their data from studies by the Institute of Medicine and Urban Institute.

South Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz provided a stark comparison to illustrate the seriousness of the situation. Wasserman, who represents parts of Broward County, said people are literally dying, and something needs to be done to correct the situation.

Wasserman Schultz was joined on the conference call by Tampa Bay Area Democrat Kathy Castor, who said more than 20 percent of the overall population in Florida go without health care.

Greg Mellowe policy director with the Florida Community Health Action Information Network (CHAIN), says there are a confluence of factors leading to Florida having 3.8 million people without health care, which he says is more than the total population of over 24 states.

Mellowe also said the current recession isn’t helping things at all. To view the report for yourself, go to Familiesusa.org.

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