Study Links Climate Change to $14B in Health Care Costs
In the journal Health Affairs on Monday, researchers from UC-Berkeley, UC-San Francisco and the Natural Resources Defense Council reported that six events related to climate change that occurred between 2000 and 2009 led to nearly $14 billion in health care costs. The natural disasters they studied included the 2006 California heat wave, the 2003 Southern California wildfires and U.S. ozone air pollution between 2000 and 2002. According to the study, 95% of the health care costs were tied to the loss of life from those disasters, with about $740 million linked to "760,000 encounters with the health care system." The researchers urged health care providers and insurers to consider climate change as part of their long-term planning process.
- "Tallying the Health Costs of Climate Change" (Brown, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
- "Health Tab for Climate Change: $14 Billion" (Sheppard, Mother Jones, 11/8).