Fast Facts on the U.S. Health Care Crisis

Lack of universal health care is often cited as one America's leading domestic concerns, yet states and the federal government have failed to enact long-lasting, viable solutions for reform and the United States remains the only industrialized country that does not guarantee health coverage to all its citizens.

Here are a few statistics that put the crisis in sharp relief:

FACT: One-third of adults (31 percent) and more than half of all children (54 percent) do not have a primary care doctor (National Medical Expenditure Panel Survey)

FACT: 46.6 million Americans, (15.9 percent of Americans -- about twice the population of Texas) were uninsured in 2005. (U.S. Census - August 2006)

FACT: More than two-thirds of uninsured adults in the United States, worked in 2005. In other words, 39.8 million workers, who had no health care -- more than the population of Canada.

FACT: Federal spending for health care totaled more than $600 billion in 2005, or roughly one quarter of the federal budget. (U.S. Office of Management and Budget)

FACT: The total medical expenditures for full- and part-year uninsured in 2004 came to nearly $124 billion -- more than the combined appropriations in 2004 for Iraq and the anti-terror programs.

FACT: Of 23 industrialized countries, the United States had the highest infant mortality rates. U.S. rates were similar to those of Poland and Hungary. (OECD, Commonwealth Fund Scorecard, 2006)

FACT: The United States ranked among the bottom of industrialized countries on healthy life expectancy at age 60 -- meaning Americans spend more years lived in poor health resulting from chronic illness or disability. (OECD, Commonwealth Fund: Results from a Scorecard, 2006)

FACT: Barely half -- about 49 percent -- of adults receive recommended preventive care and screening tests according to guidelines for their age and sex. (Commonwealth Fund Scorecard 2006)

FACT: Close to 100,000 Americans die annually from medical errors -- more than double the number of Americans who die annually in car crashes (Institute of Medicine).

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