Analysis: Pandemic flu to hit poor hardest

January 30, 2007
by Olga Pierce

That means the nation's nearly 47 million uninsured Americans -- and the providers that treat them -- could face crippling medical costs, Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, told United Press International. If uninsured people delay needed care, it could also help spread the virus. When there is a "public health emergency, something should be put in place for the coverage of healthcare," Levi said. "It no longer has just individual consequences, it has society-wide consequences." At the moment, the secretary of health and human services does not have the authority to put emergency coverage in place even if a public health emergency is declared, he said.

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