National gridlock on health reform misses the point

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A new report by Families USA estimates that 2,100 residents of Connecticut have died because they were uninsured since the last time Congress considered health reform but did not act. The report predicts that without reform another 1,700 will die by 2019. The report used methodology from an Institute of Medicine study with updated numbers.

“The findings in this report are truly shocking and underscore the urgent need for health insurance reform. We cannot afford to stand idle as individuals and families in Connecticut and across our nation continue to suffer and even die because they don’t have health insurance. I thank the Connecticut Health Policy Project and Families USA for bringing this issue to light and for their work on behalf of the uninsured,” said U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District “We are closer than ever to bringing real reform to the health insurance industry – reform that will end discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower health insurance costs for all Americans and strengthen Medicare for the long term. Just this week, the House passed important legislation that would force the health insurance industry to compete fairly and honestly like every other industry in America, ending the health insurance industry’s anti-trust exemption. I also applaud President Obama for bringing together Republicans and Democrats for today’s health care summit. Health care reform is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, as this report proves it is an American issue and one we must confront.”

“For many, the health care reform debate is a matter of life and death,” U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney, D-2nd District, said. “ This debate is about providing coverage to those who are without and controlling skyrocketing costs for small businesses and families whose health is threatened by a dysfunctional system.”

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, said, “It is simply appalling that in my own state of Connecticut, 2,100 adults have died due to lack of health insurance since the last attempt to pass health care reform legislation—and another 1,700 will die in the next 10 years if we fail to act. For far too long, the American people have waited for Congress to act, and this report makes it starkly clear: the cost of inaction is too high. We must continue the work we have done over the past year and work to pass legislation that will ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance reform. It is literally a matter of life and death.”