"You start off your book Deadly Spin with this very dramatic statistic: About 45,000 people will die in America every year because they have no health insurance. Can you explain that?
WENDELL POTTER: That’s based on a study conducted by researchers here at the time at Harvard, Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler. It was a very scientific based study to determine mortality rates, why people die. I think, probably, it’s understated. The reason for that is because uninsured people don’t have access to care in the proper setting and often at the right time. They suffer as a consequence. People forgo routine care and wait until it’s often too late to save their lives. Consequently, a lot of Americans are dying prematurely. The reason I say the number is understated is because I think there are a lot of Americans dying because they are underinsured. They have insurance but they have no idea it’s inadequate until it’s too late. They realize they can’t afford to make co-payments or they have such limited benefits they can’t get what they really need. There’s no other country in the developed world that even has to have a study to determine that. We’re unique in that regard, that just doesn’t happen in any other developed country in the world.”