A report released last month titled “Dying in Michigan” by Families USA has estimated that approximately 650 people per day die in Michigan because they do not have health insurance. In 2006, 650 working-age–25-64 years old–Michigan residents died because of a lack of health insurance. Families USA estimated that from 2000 to 2006 4,200 people died because of a lack of health insurance. Overall, 13.4% of Michigan residents in this age bracket do not have health insurance. Families USA based their estimate studies by the Institute for Medicine and the Urban Institute and used the methodologies from those studies to arrive at their Michigan-specific numbers.
Without health insurance, people typically do not have a regular source of care outside of emergency rooms, go without screenings and preventive care, delay or forgo needed medical care, and pay more for health care than those with insurance.
In Michigan, there is currently a ballot initiative designed to provide greater access to healthcare for Michigan residents. The effort is being organized by a group called Healthcare for Michigan. It is hoping to get the following proposal on the November 2008 elections:
“The State Legislature shall pass laws to make sure that every Michigan resident has affordable and comprehensive health care coverage through a fair and cost effective financing system. The legislature is required to pass a plan that, through public or private measures, controls health care costs and provides for medically necessary preventive, primary, acute and chronic health care needs.”