National healthcare advocate from Harvard Med School to speak at NJIT

October 12, 2007

Obtaining adequate health care at reasonable cost is a national issue of great concern for the majority of people in the United States. It is also the issue that David Himmelstein, MD, founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, will address at NJIT's Technology and Society Forum http://tsf.njit.edu.

Himmelstein will discuss how the lack of insurance and other problems people face paying for care, endangers the health of millions.

More Americans lack health insurance today than at any time since the start of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s, Himmelstein said. Meanwhile, workers are paying a higher share of premiums (and larger co-payments and deductibles) as firms shift costs onto employees. Many of those with no, or poor, coverage forego care for potentially life-threatening symptoms such as chest pain or a breast lump. Women frequently delay prenatal care because they're uninsured or unable to pay. HMOs often erect barriers to care, even in emergencies. For terminally ill patients and their families, the burden of illness is often compounded by financial suffering. About half of all bankruptcies involve illness or medical debts, said Himmelstein.

Himmelstein, associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, practices primary care internal medicine and serves as the chief of the Division of Social and Community Medicine at Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge. He received his MD from Columbia University and completed training in internal medicine at Highland Hospital, University of California San Francisco, and a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard. In addition to starting this Program, he serves as co-director of the Center for National Health Program Studies at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
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The event is co-sponsored by the NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College and Sigma Xi.

For more information about attending, contact Jay Kappraff, kappraff@adm.njit.edu or 973-596-3490.

(ATTENTION REPORTERS: To attend, the event set for Nov. 7, 2007 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center, Ballroom, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436).

New Jersey Institute of Technology

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