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Health News Florida
Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Florida Third in Nation for Uninsured Deaths

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Flickr Creative Commons/ Jobs with Justice

Florida has the third-highest total number of deaths resulting from the lack of health care coverage. That's according to a new report comparing all 50 states by Families USA, a non-profit advocacy group.

And Florida doesn't fare much better on a per capita basis, either.

By that measure, Florida had the sixth-worst rate of uninsured people dying, only slightly better than much-poorer West Virginia.

The study says that in 2010, almost 2,300 Floridians between the ages of 25 and 64 died from the lack of care.

Ron Pollack of Families USA says the nationwide number in more than 26,000.

"Every hour, that's three people," he said.

The reports says uninsured cancer patients are more likely to delay or forgo cancer related treatment and care. It also says the uninsured are much more likely to be diagnosed with a disease in an advanced stage due to lack of preventative screenings. 

The uninsured face special challenges because they pay more for medical care. That's because they're unable to negotiate the discounts on health care services that insurance companies would normally do.

The report is based on research methods used in a study on premature deaths and health care coverage released by the Institute of Medicine in 2002.