While the politics of Medicaid expansion in the states gets all the media attention, there's a more basic story behind this story. Expanding Medicaid to cover more people will save more lives. That was the whole point of the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act, and the real travesty of the Supreme Court decision which upheld the law, but seriously undercut it. We get a reminder
of that from the Center for American Progress's Maura Calsyn and Lindsay Rosenthal.
A study from the New England Journal of Medicine compared several states, three which had expanded Medicaid rolls for the adult population, 19-64, between 2000-2005 (New York, Maine and Arizona) against neighboring states (Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada) with similar populations which hadn't. They found six percent fewer deaths in the 19-64 age group in the states that had expanded Medicaid to include that group.
Using the methodology from that study, the CAP researchers extrapolated the potential for saving lives with Medicaid expansion in a handful of red states:
As many as 12,000 lives could be saved in those states alone with the expansion of Medicaid. It's been well-established that the uninsured have higher mortality rates
than people with insurance. Extending coverage to them was the essential point of the Affordable Care Act. The fight Republican governors are having with the White House isn't about the politics, it's about lives.