According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 million American's suffer from sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation results in lower productivity, a higher risk of obesity, and an increased risk of heart disease. Some studies have also shown that a lack of sleep increases the risk of diabetes and that driving while sleep deprived is as dangerous as driving intoxicated when it comes to response time and judgment. I would like to add people might be less cranky and possibly fewer cases of spousal and child abuse, road rage, and an increase in rational thought (but i am no doctor - just guessing) Without much refute many would consider lack of sleep to be a significant and medically relevant problem in this country.
In contrast, 43 million American's are without health insurance. Not without medical care, as emergency rooms are not currently allowed to turn away anyone needing medical care. This is the number of people without insurance- it is worth making note of the difference. Proponents of national health insurance also suggest that medical insurance, when made universally available will help in preventive care thus decreasing the need for significant procedures and therefore medical costs.
I say, if we as American's get better sleep, we will be in better health and also in a lesser need of costly medical procedures too, let alone experience a higher quality of life in the mean time. With approx. 27 million more people suffering from sleep deprivation than those without medical insurance, wouldn't it make sense that, if Obama's medical plan is really for preventive care, that getting everyone a better mattress would be less expensive and help more people than overhauling the ENTIRE health care industry? One time fee, not a reoccurring burden to the tax payers and the deficit. I say sleep number's for everyone on the tax payer dime! Who's with me!?