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Report: Thousands of Connecticut Residents Dead in the Prime of Life

March 1, 2010

MERIDEN, Conn. - It can be deadly to lack health insurance in America. According to a new report from Families USA, almost 300,000 Americans between ages 25 and 64 - including 2,100 Nutmeggers - died in the past 15 years because they did not receive needed medical care. That finding has inspired health reform advocates in the state to renew calls for federal action on reform.

If national reform is put in place, it would benefit Connecticut, says Janet Davenport, vice president for communications for the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.

"It will also put our state at a competitive advantage, because we have a new health care reform law called SustiNet that was designed specifically to participate in and capitalize on national health care reform."

The report predicts an additional 1,700 Connecticut adults from 25 to 64 years old will die over the next decade without significant health reform.

Davenport points to another finding in the report: Uninsured adults in that age group are 25 percent more likely to die prematurely than adults with private health insurance.

"Those with quality care are more likely to seek health care screening and are less likely to forego needed medical care."

Universal Health Care Foundation was one of the leaders in the campaign for SustiNet, which was passed last year in a veto override.

The report is available at www.familiesusa.org.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT