America's Biggest Killer Isn't Terrorism


Let's compare a few numbers.

Osama bin Laden and his madmen killed less than 3,000 people with their hijacked jetliners.

About 2,000 Americans died when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Five thousand perished during the American Revolution; 2,000 were killed in the War of 1812; the Mexican War claimed 13,000 lives; the Spanish-American War took 5,462; the Persian Gulf War saw the loss of 148 American and Allied soldiers.

And, according to a soul-numbing study released last week, more than 18,000 American adults die each year because they are uninsured and cannot obtain proper health care.

The massive report, titled, "Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late," examines the plight of 30 million people one-seventh of all working-age Americans whose employers don't provide insurance and who don't qualify for government medical care.

Here's another number: About 10 million of their children lack insurance, too.

Conducted by the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit organization of experts that advises Congress on health issues, the report concludes that 18,314 people die in the U.S. each year because they lack preventive services, a timely diagnosis or appropriate care. That toll includes about 1,400 people with high blood pressure, 400 to 600 with breast cancer and 1,500 diagnosed with HIV.

The study also found that, compared to those with health insurance, uninsured people with colon or breast cancer face a 50-percent higher risk of death; uninsured trauma victims are less likely to be admitted to the hospital, receive the full range of needed services, and are 37 percent more likely to die of their injuries; and 25 percent of uninsured adult diabetics do not undergo regular checkups boosting their risk of death, blindness and amputations resulting from poor circulation.

Meanwhile, this country's government ships billions of dollars in medical supplies, cash, food, weapons and other forms of rock-solid support to other countries, to people who weren't fortunate enough to have been born American.

In the meantime, 18,314 people who were lucky enough to have been born here, but are uninsured, will die.

Osama bin Laden? As an American-killing machine, he's a lightweight compared to our own, disgraceful health care system.

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