“Expanding Medicaid to low-income adults leads to improved health, fewer deaths” (Harvard School of Public Health, July 2012):
“The recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act ruled that states could decide whether or not they wanted to participate in the health care law’s Medicaid expansion. Our study provides evidence suggesting that expanding Medicaid has a major positive effect on people’s health,” said [[Benjamin Sommers]], assistant professor of health policy and economics at HSPH and the study’s lead author.
The results showed that Medicaid expansions in three states were associated with a significant reduction in mortality of 6.1% compared with neighboring states that did not expand Medicaid, which corresponds to 2,840 deaths prevented per year for each 500,000 adults gaining Medicaid coverage.
Each year in which low-income Americans had better access to office visits with physicians (not just the emergency departments of hospitals, which, of course, always had to take them in) resulted in saving the lives of 0.57 percent.
What about shutting down health care, including most hospital services, for 330 million Americans (or 350 million, depending on how many undocumented are among us)? Could that result in 0.57 percent of 330 million people dying? That would be 1.88 million or 157,000 per month of shutdown. I’m going to guess that the expert scientific consensus will be “no” and that, in fact, there were only minimal effects from shutting down the U.S. healthcare system that had previously been so important to prop up with $trillions of tax dollars.
So… opening up some doctors’ offices to more people saved lives bigly. Shutting down the nation’s entire hospital system, except for procedures considered to be emergencies, did not cost any lives.