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Battle Fatalities in the Fight Over Health Care Reform

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A recent study in the Journal of American Public Health concluded that 45,000 people die each year for lack of health insurance.

Another study in 2002, from the Institute of Medicine, put the number at 18,000. Still another, put it at 22,000.

As a back of the envelope calculation, that means that somewhere between 300,000-650,000 people died prematurely between 1994, when the last major health care reform effort was defeated, and today.

If you take the low end of that estimate, more Americans died from Congressional inaction on health care than died during those years as a result of the first Gulf War, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan war, the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and all of the nation's homicides -- combined.