Social and Economic Costs in Context

Conclusion 1: The estimated benefits in terms of the value of healthy life years gained by providing coverage to those currently uninsured are likely greater than the incremental societal costs of the additional health care services that they would receive if insured. The cost-effectiveness of the additional health care that the uninsured population would use with coverage is comparable to that of many other health-enhancing and life-extending interventions.

Conclusion 2: Health insurance contributes essentially to obtaining the kind and quality of health care that can express the equality and dignity of every person. Despite the absence of an explicit Constitutional or statutory right to health care (except for emergency care in hospitals), disparities in access to and the quality of health care of the kind that prevail between insured and uninsured Americans contravene widely accepted democratic cultural and political norms of equal consideration and equal opportunity.

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