Lack of Health Insurance Kills 2K Veterans a Year

2,266 died last year, a study finds
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2009 8:16 AM CST
Lack of Health Insurance Kills 2K Veterans a Year
American soldiers pray during a ceremony marking Veterans Day at the U.S. Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Some 2,266 US veterans under 65 died last year because they didn't have health insurance, a team from Harvard Medical School estimates. Although most vets get medical care through the VA, there are about a million and a half, under 65, who were not wounded and are "too poor to afford private coverage but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or means-tested VA care," one professor says.

Being uninsured ups your odds of dying by 40%, the researchers note. Hence the result: "Six preventable deaths a day," says a study co-author. "On this Veterans Day we should not only honor the nearly 500 soldiers who have died this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the more than 2,200 veterans who were killed by our broken health insurance system," the associate professor says, according to ThinkProgress. (More health care stories.)

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