Just about the length of time it takes to cool a cup of coffee. The time consumed by commercials on broadcast TV every hour. The delay between placing your dinner order and getting your food

In the US, every 12 minutes, poor medical treatment kills an innocent person. Usually, that person gets substandard treatment because they have no insurance.

Those citizens under 64 with no health insurance are 40% more likely to die than someone covered by insurance. 

An similar study in 1993 found those without insurance had a 25 percent greater risk of death, according to the Harvard group. The Institute of Medicine later used that data in its 2002 estimate showing about 18,000 people a year died because they lacked coverage.

Part of the increased risk now is due to the growing ranks of the uninsured, Himmelstein said. Roughly 46.3 million people in the United States lacked coverage in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported last week, up from 45.7 million in 2007.

Another factor is that there are fewer places for the uninsured to get good care. Public hospitals and clinics are shuttering or scaling back across the country in cities like New Orleans, Detroit and others, he said.

Study co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler said the findings show that without proper care, uninsured people are more likely to die from complications associated with preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The new Harvard study was published in the online version of the American Journal of Public Health.

An honest review of political arguments could save 45,000 lives per year.