Health care doesn't matter?When I mentioned my new lack of health coverage to American acquaintances, several explained that they themselves had lived without health insurance for years—some because they couldn’t afford it, but others just because they didn’t think it was necessary.What tends to happen in practice is that Americans who lack insurance forgo some of the most important medical visits a person can make, like screenings for diseases such as breast cancer or prostate cancer. When sick they also tend to put off going to the doctor unless they experience unbearable pain, at which point illness may have progressed so far that they’re already in serious trouble and require far more invasive and expensive treatment.Yet many Americans, including politicians who should know better, continue to repeat the reassuring mantra that no Americans dies for lack of health insurance. It turns out that even this isn’t true. Victims of car accidents who lacked health insurance, for example, received less treatment and were significantly more likely to die of their injuries than victims who had health insurance, even when they were taken to emergency rooms, according to one study I read. Other studies estimated that uninsured adults in the US had a 25 or even 40 percent higher risk of death than insured adults, even after adjusting for various factors such as age, smoking and obesity.In fact, medical bills were the cause of most personal bankruptcies in the US, which meant that hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their property and having their credit scores destroyed every year as the result of being uninsured or underinsured for health care. In America the uninsured were reduced to begin for leniency from hospitals, and begging from friends and family for burdensome financial assistance in the face of their staggering medical bills. Many ended up dragging their family members into debt along with them.