Recently, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told members of the Columbus Dispatch editorial board
, "We don't have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance. We don't have a setting across this country where if you don't have insurance, we just say to you, 'Tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack.' No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, and it's paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital."
Many of us who have cancer laughed and shook our heads. Yes, people in America do die because of lack of health insurance, and because having health insurance is not a guarantee that you will receive affordable care.
In an opinion piece over at HuffPo, Wendell Potter, former insurance industry PR guy turned whistleblower and author, writes:
Romney is absolutely right, people who are uninsured don't have to die in their apartments. They can indeed be rushed to a hospital, and the hospital is obligated to treat them. It's what he didn't say, and likely doesn't understand because he simply can't relate to 47 percent of us, that is actually more important: many of the uninsured die in the hospital, in the emergency room, because they could not afford to get care earlier when it might have saved their lives. Instead of going back home to their apartments, many of them, unfortunately, go to the morgue.
More: Romney's Talking Points on the Uninsured Are Like the Ones I Wrote When I Was an Insurance Industry Flack.
Potter's book looks pretty great. I just ordered a copy.