Uninsured adults have a 25 percent greater mortality risk than adults with coverage. About 18,000 excess deaths among people younger than 65 are attributed to lack of coverage every year.Now, insurance coverage is obviously correlated with age, income, race, and other factors that affect health. The studies discussed by IOM did try to control for these factors, but probably didn't succeed perfectly. So I was most impressed by the findings that among people with the same illness, the uninsured got less care and were more likely to suffer bad outcomes. The IOM found this over and over: diabetes sufferers got less regular exams, AIDS patients got less effective drugs, even uninsured car crash victims receive less treatment:
To see how uninsured patients fare in a hospital setting, the committee focused on two conditions for which most people are treated regardless of whether they are insured: traumatic injuries and heart attacks. It found that uninsured persons with traumatic injuries are less likely to be admitted to the hospital, receive fewer services if they are, and are more likely to die than insured victims. One statewide study of car crash victims discovered that uninsured victims had a 37 percent higher mortality rate. Another statewide study found that although uninsured trauma patients were just as likely to be placed in intensive care, they were less likely to be operated on or to receive physical therapy.