"We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” -Mitt Romney to the Columbus Dispatch
This simply isn't correct.
According to a 2009 study conducted by Harvard Medical School, approximately 45,000 people die each year because they do not have insurance.
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.
When Romney originally made the claim several weeks ago that we "don't have people who die" because they don't have insurance, he also cited people who live in apartments.
Does Romney really believe only people who live in apartments lack health insurance? What about people with homes? What about the homeless?
The existence of emergency rooms seems to be Romney's justification for bringing back pre-existing conditions, but as we've discussed before, and as Mitt Romney himself has discussed before, emergency rooms are the most expensive form of care and are a drain on the system.
At the 1:12 minute mark:
We say that citizens making three times federal poverty or more, that's $54,000 a year in our state for a family of four, you have to buy a policy that you can afford. And no more showing up at the hospital expecting someone else to pay your way.
For people earning less than three times federal poverty we the state will subsidize their purchase of a policy. They choose the policy they want. We subsidize its purchase. And that way we get everybody insured.
[Question] And that doesn't cost any additional dollars?
The answer is no because we've been spending in our state about $1.3 billion a year giving money to hospitals that give out free care. So we were spending about $1.3 billion. That money came from taxes, it came from assessments on hospitals and insurance companies, it came from the federal government, it came from all of the above. And we said, okay, look, instead of paying money to the hospitals to give out free care, why don't we subsidize the purchase of insurance?
Romney's entire campaign is a contradiction of his previous self.