The uninsured give more ... organs
The transfer of vital organs from the have-nots to the have-mores doesn't just play out in cinematic goings-on in seedy London hotels, but also in the humdrum precincts of the American health (couldn't) care (less) system. In a recent press release, the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) reveal that "People who lack health insurance are about 20 times more likely to donate their liver or a kidney for a lifesaving transplant than to receive one".
The press release summarizes a research paper published in the International Journal of Health Services, written by Andrew A. Herring, David U. Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D. Perhaps the most quotable item is this, which you may want to include in the letter I'm sure you're going to write to Senator Ted Kennedy and/or your local newspaper:
Strikingly, lack of insurance was a stronger predictor of organ donation than was any hospital characteristic or demographic factor other than age (older people’s organs are more often diseased and unsuitable for transplantation).
And this in spite of the fact that "special protocols, including guidelines adopted by Congress, have been developed to improve equity in the transplantation of organs."
PNHP is working extra hard right now because this is a critical moment for health care legislation. They ask us to write to Senator Kennedy and to President-elect Obama, asking them to support single payer; to speak out by writing to your newspaper or any other publication you have access to; to set up a meeting with your Representative asking for their support or thanking them if they are already a cosponsor; and to send a donation to PNHP.