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Journal Article


The Uninsured and the Benefits of Medical Progress

Advances in medical technology have dramatically improved the lives of many Americans suffering from conditions as varied as heart attack, cataracts, and depression. But new research reveals that people without health insurance are not getting the same access as the insured are to these innovative treatments. This access gap is costing society an estimated $1.1 billion each year from higher morbidity and mortality.

In "The Uninsured and the Benefits of Medical Progress" (Health Affairs, July/August 2003) Columbia University analysts Sherry Glied and Sarah E. Little document the disparity between the insured and uninsured populations in the use of medical technology. Focusing on the 55-to-64 age group, authors Glied and Little compared technology use rates for three common conditions that are treated in both hospital and outpatient settings. In every case, the uninsured group had received the high-tech treatment at lower rates compared with the insured group.

Publication Details



"The Uninsured and the Benefits of Medical Progress," Sherry Glied and Sarah E. Little, Health Affairs 22, 4 (July 2003): 210–19