Even now, Dr. Deb Richter is haunted by images of some of the patients she saw at inner-city clinics where she worked in Buffalo, N.Y., during the 1980s.
One young man without health insurance didn't get the early intervention he needed for diabetes. He went blind, got an infection and died at 21. His sister, who also had lived with juvenile diabetes, delivered a baby three months premature. The baby died. Two years later, the 25-year-old woman suffered a heart attack and died during coronary bypass surgery.