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Study: Most Sick Americans Will be Dead by the Time Health Care Bill Passes

Bethesda, MD – A study released Wednesday by the National Institutes of Health finds that an overwhelming majority of sick Americans will be dead by the time a health care bill passes, because they delayed doctor’s visits and other necessary medical procedures due to high medical care costs coupled with job losses and low incomes.

“Nearly 72% of the sick in the U.S. are likely to die from treatable medical conditions before a bill overhauling the health care system is passed by Congress, let alone signed by President Obama,” the report said. “Due to the current economic crisis, people are putting off doctor’s visits, minor procedures, and even major surgeries. If the current situation persists, there will surely be several million deaths in the coming year.”

Jim Manna of Allentown, PA, was told he needs coronary bypass surgery to repair clogged arteries. He said he hopes he can wait until a new health care bill is on the books.

“I think I can make it till, let’s say, December,” Manna said. “I mean, I hope they can get it done by then. Judging by how poor my breathing is right now, I don’t think there’s much chance of me making it to January. So, let’s go, guys. Maybe take it up a notch.”

Ethel Jaimes of Chicago knows she should take her son, Jayson, to the doctor, but she is a single mother who just lost her job and cannot afford the visit.

“He’s bleeding, like, from his eyes,” Ms. Jaimes said. “Which I know isn’t good. But what can I do? I ask him, Which would you rather have, bread or the doctor? And he says bread.”

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said any delay in getting a bill to the Senate floor for debate is not the fault of Republicans.

“It is the Democrats’ attempt to fashion a government takeover of health care that is causing this process to take so long,” Grassley said. “I was ready to pass a bill on day one. Day one of negotiations. I proposed a bill that no one new gets covered, and that being tired can be considered a preexisting condition. Now, is it my fault that no one went with me on that?”

The NIH report concludes by noting one possible advantage to having many millions of Americans die from unreceived medical attention — that many fewer Americans will need health care coverage.

“This could result in a substantially lower cost for the bill that eventually is considered. Reducing by several million the number of Americans who need health insurance coverage would surely bring down the overall cost of the legislation. In addition, as these were the sickest Americans, their care would have been that much more expensive. However, it is important to note that any gain could well be negated by losses in tax revenue due to the rapid disappearance of millions of tax payers.”