A Harvard Medical School Study confirms what many doctors have long suspected, that health care disparities between different ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups are in large measure the result of whether or not the study participants had health care coverage or not.

Efforts to measure the effect of lack of insurance have been tricky to establish. The Harvard study followed more than 6,000 adults and measured  a variety of variables including indicators associated with diabetes and heart problems.

Analyzing the participants blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure the individuals who had health care coverage routinely and understandably performed better than those without. Control of these medical measures are vital to controlling heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, strokes and a number of other significant causes of early death.

However, once the individuals without health insurance qualified for Medicare, the health gap between them and insured folks narrowed substantially.

One of the most significant costs in our health care system is the cost of providing emergency care for non-insured individuals who's chronic conditions flare up. It is far cheaper to take care of diabetes and heart disease on an ongoing basis rather than when they are in an acute phase.

It is also clear that individuals who are appropriately treated for their chronic diseases are far less likely to present healthcare providers with the sort of complex and difficult to treat situations which give rise to many medical malpractice, wrongful death cases both in Maryland and nationwide.

It is time to make health care available to all Americans as in every other modern nation in the world and reduce both the incidence and cost of medical malpractice cases. Maybe we can use that money to give everyone dental care too?

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