I am formally issuing a correction.

I have repeatedly cited a study by the Urban League which states that 22,000 Americans die each year due to a lack of adequate health care.

This morning, I’m admitting I was wrong; that figure isn’t accurate. 22,000 Americans don’t die each year because they lack adequate health care.

45,000 do:

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year — one every 12 minutes — in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

We’re losing more Americans every day because of inaction … than drunk driving and homicide combined,” Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.


Part of the increased risk now is due to the growing ranks of the uninsured, Himmelstein said. Roughly 46.3 million people in the United States lacked coverage in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported last week, up from 45.7 million in 2007.

Another factor is that there are fewer places for the uninsured to get good care. Public hospitals and clinics are shuttering or scaling back across the country in cities like New Orleans, Detroit and others, he said.

Study co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler said the findings show that without proper care, uninsured people are more likely to die from complications associated with preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

[Emphasis mine]

45,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have access to adequate health care. 45,000–that’s roughly the size of a major league baseball park. Fill LA’s Angel Stadium or Cleveland’s Progressive Field or St. Louis’ Busch Stadium full of people and you’ll see just how many people die unnecessary, preventable deaths as victims of the health care crisis.

Republicans tell us that our current system is fine, that it’s better to do nothing than pass serious, comprehensive reform. But I bet that there are 45,000 people out there who would disagree, as well as tens of millions more who would rather see those 45,000 Americans live to see next year than die prematurely.