Quantcast
Connect with us

Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid had a cost: 15,000 deaths

Published

on

The decision of 14 states not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare cost more than 15,000 lives, according to a new analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The Affordable Care Act would have expanded Medicaid to everyone making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty threshold in every state, but a 2012 Supreme Court decision allowed individual states to opt out. As a result, 14 states have not expanded Medicaid even though the ACA offers extensive federal subsidies to states that participate. The authors of the new study, headed by University of Michigan economist Sarah Miller, found that the decision not to expand Medicaid “likely resulted in 15,600 additional deaths over this four year period that could have been avoided if the states had opted to expand coverage.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The analysis looked at death rates among people in households earning between 100 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty line, who would have benefited from the Medicaid expansion, using data from the American Community Survey, an annual survey of millions of Americans, and compared it with Census Bureau death records between 2014 and 2017.

Before the Medicaid expansion, the study’s sample population died at roughly the same rate across the United States. But a gap began to grow after some states expanded Medicaid while others did not.

The study found an “average decrease in annual mortality of 0.13 percentage points during the four-year post period” in states that expanded Medicaid. That decrease amounted to “approximately 4,800 fewer deaths” per year, “or roughly 19,200 fewer deaths over the first four years alone.”

The study is the latest pointing to the life-saving benefits of Medicaid expansion.

ADVERTISEMENT

A 2018 Harvard study found that Medicaid expansion improved patient access to surgery as well as the likelihood that a patient will seek medical care before suffering complications.

Another 2018 study published in the medical journal JAMA found that states that expanded Medicaid had significantly lower mortality rates among patients with kidney disease who started dialysis.

A previous NBER study found that found that patients in states that expanded Medicaid carried far less medical debt than patients in states that did not.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite ample evidence that Medicaid quite literally saves lives, Republicans have continued their assault on the program. House Republicans repeatedly voted to repeal Obamacare and in 2017 approved a bill that would have eliminated the Medicaid expansion and cut the program by $880 billion.

Though the bill ultimately failed, President Trump has proposed a 2020 budget that would repeal the Medicaid expansion and cut Medicaid by more than $750 billion, according to Vox.

“There is robust evidence that Medicaid increases the use of health care,” the NBER researchers said in the new study, “including types of care that are well-established as efficacious such as prescription drugs and screening and early detection of cancers that are responsive to treatment. Given this, it may seem obvious that Medicaid would improve objective measures of health.” Though there are challenges in measuring the effects, the analysis found that “Medicaid expansions substantially reduced mortality rates among those who stood to benefit the most.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

Published

on

Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

Published

on

Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

Published

on

Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image