hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, August 14, 2009
re: access to health care & saving and improving lives, Ezra and others are linking to this January 2008 report from the Urban Institute (written by Stan Dorn):




The absence of health insurance creates a range of consequences, including lower quality of life, increased morbidity and mortality, and higher financial burdens. This paper focuses on just one aspect of this harm—namely, greater risk of death—and seeks to illustrate its general order of magnitude.

In 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimated that 18,000 Americans died in 2000 because they were uninsured. Since then, the number of uninsured has grown. Based on the IOM's methodology and subsequent Census Bureau estimates of insurance coverage, 137,000 people died from 2000 through 2006 because they lacked health insurance, including 22,000 people in 2006."

Related Research

Increasing Health Insurance Coverage for High-Cost Older Adults

How We Can Pay for Health Reform

Ousting Obesity: Strategies from the Tobacco Wars

8/19 update:

Also this paper from Families USA:



"10 Reasons to Support The Health Care Reform Bills

The health reform debate is in full swing and proposals are taking shape. Even though key decisions are still being made, it is clear we have gained significant ground. There is much to be excited about in these proposals: Millions more people will gain health insurance, coverage will be more affordable, and people will have access to the health services they need. These provisions will improve the lives of millions of Americans and give us the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we have coverage no matter what. But the road ahead will not be easy. We must continue to work for improvements and we must ensure that we do not lose the gains we have made so far—they are worth fighting for. Below are some highlights in the health care reform proposals.

What we’ll get from health reform:

1. A major expansion of Medicaid coverage—fully federally funded—for millions of low-income working families who currently fall through the cracks

2. A regulated marketplace that clamps down on insurance company abuses so people can no longer be denied coverage

3. Requirements that insurance companies spend more of the premium dollars they collect on patient care

4. Sliding-scale subsidies so middle-class, working families can afford the coverage they need to keep their families healthy

5. A strong public plan option that will provide choice, stability, and an honest yardstick to keep costs down

6. Limits on out-of-pocket spending, giving Americans real health security and peace of mind

7. Much-needed relief for small businesses so they can afford to offer coverage to their employees

8. Improvements to Medicare that will help seniors and people with disabilities afford their drugs and their cost-sharing

9. Better access to coverage for uninsured children so they can get the care they need

10. Long overdue steps to modernize the system, improve the quality of care provided, and curb unnecessary spending so our American health care system delivers the best possible care . . ."

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