Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
Mitt Romney doesn’t understand how deadly our current health insurance system is.
“We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance,” Romney said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday.
But according to a Harvard study published in the American Journal of Public Health a couple years ago, about 45,000 people die every year in this country because they didn’t have health insurance.
If they had it, they could have gotten the care they needed for, say, their heart conditions or their diabetes or their cancer, and they might still be alive today.
Let’s put this in perspective: More Americans die every year from lack of health insurance than from car accidents and homicides combined, the Harvard study found.
For Mitt Romney to deny that lack of health insurance is killing people here in the United States just shows you how out of touch the guy is.
In his first debate, he said if people don’t like the health insurance they have, they should get another carrier. But most people don’t have that choice if they get insured through their employer.
For Romney and other CEOs and wealthy individuals, the health care system works fine. But for everyone else, not so much.
It was like him saying that if you’re sick, you can just go to the emergency room. But by then, your lethal disease may have progressed so far that you can’t be saved. And, of course, it’s much more expensive to pay for emergency care than for preventive care or early treatment.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Obama’s Disastrous Debate."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter