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Eight Californians Will Likely Die Today Due to Lack of Health Coverage

April 4, 2008

Sacramento, CA - Lack of health insurance coverage can be fatal in California. A new study-–the first state-specific report of its type--shows that an average of more than eight people of working age die in the state each day because they don't have health insurance.

The report is from Families USA. Ron Pollack, executive director of that organization, says they found that the uninsured often skip regular checkups and other preventive care. He says California's failed attempt at creating universal health coverage suggests that the federal government must lead the way.

"States like California have significant fiscal problems, and they really need a partnership from the federal government rather than a hindrance."

The study found that from 2000 to 2006 a lack of health insurance meant early death for nearly 20,000 Californians.

California Congressman Pete Stark says the Bush administration has prevented Congress from passing significant health care reform. He says it's time to take action to combat the real killer in the United States, the lack of universal health care.

"We're the only nation in the world that does not provide medical care to every resident. There's one small group of Americans who are entitled under the Constitution to medical care, and that's prisoners."

More information is available at www.familiesusa.org.

Lori Abbott/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - CA