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Stethescope on top of pile of money
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:

Chart showing the potential lives saved in 14 states if Medicaid was expanded to them.
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.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:48:11 AM PDT

  •  That seems so self evident. (6+ / 0-)

    Medical care saves lives and Medicaid provides medical care.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:52:14 AM PDT

    •  It's not self evident to the Ayn Rand ideologues.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RBinDLH, bartcopfan

      ...and plutocrats in the Republican party (most of them, from Rand Paul to Grover Norquist to Paul Ryan, etc.) since ANYTHING that the government does is communism and therefore a deadly trend in their little minds.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 06:55:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Read that report summary and several others from (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, marvyt, RBinDLH

    this page on Medicaid expansion.

    The links the article gives are pdf  but worth reading. I liked 50 Reasons Medicaid Expansion is Good for Your State Some of it's little points struck me... like people applying for or approved for SS Disability will have coverage in that 2 year waiting period until Medicare kicks in. (Many people have already waited that 2 years before they are approved but still) How dumb that in many cases these people with serious, chronic conditions go without coverage during that long wait

    The reason I have been reading a lot is just trying to find info on how they are encouraging doctors to participate in this expansion. I haven't found that info and doctors I talked to didn't know.
    Are they increasing payments to doctors providing services? Many providers will not take Medicaid recipients anymore because of the low payments. (More dropped them after they started limiting what prescriptions are approved because of the time and work it takes to get prior approval for exceptions for drugs or care. Too much staff time and frustration)

    Now I will sound like those bitching on the right... but do we have enough doctors? Largely driven by payment structure we are short on general physicians already. I did hear their payments via medicare are going up, do you know if that is the case in Medicaid?

    Obama use to talk about increasing incentives for getting into general practice including some tuition debt waivers and I have been trying to find out if that made it into the final bill.

    GPs are really the most important link and I can't imagine increasing their number wasn't a part of this bill... but I don't know.

    I want this to work. I want lives to be saved and worried minds to be eased. An imperfect bill and system but a start.
    (Melissa Harris Perry had segment on coming exchange. Those who use paper application will have 23 pages! I hear the complaints already. Here is to single payer)

  •  Screw those that use Medicaid. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue

    They are nothing but eaters. Let them Die.

    Brought to you by the next GOP meet up.

  •  Great for Medicaid, But For Small Business..... (0+ / 0-)

    the SWOP has been delayed by 1 year..

    Right into campaign season, and workers under 1090 people is small businesses look like they WON'T be able to choose their own anything..

    From Bloomberg

  •  Life is cherished in Texas from just before (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RBinDLH, Ice Blue, bartcopfan

    conception until birth. Then, not so much.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 07:03:09 PM PDT

  •  1 life saved per 10,000 people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bartcopfan

    That's a whole lot.  This is the rare quick fix that will save a huge number of lives.  And people often get worked up and panic over things that kill a lot fewer than 1 in 10,000 people.

  •  I don't know if it saved my life (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RBinDLH

    since pathology hasn't had a chance to get at it yet but this morning I had my hysterectomy/oophorectomy.  You heard that right, Wisconsin's Badgercare has them down as an outpatient procedure.  But at least they paid for it, huh?

    Actually, because I live "alone" I could have stayed overnight but since I told the surgeon if I stayed the night I'd have to clean up a couple pet messes once got home she let me out this afternoon.  That, and the operation went amazingly well.  She said I only lost two tablespoons of blood, w00+, w00+!

    Now I gotta get my butt off this chair and back to bed.  Cushions don't work miracles.

    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

    by Ice Blue on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 07:28:35 PM PDT

  •  From experience (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RBinDLH

    I can say the preventative care in the much maligned ACA does. You men in your 40s, regular test and check ups, get it done.

  •  Pro-life? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RBinDLH, bartcopfan

    It's amazing how people can claim to be "pro life" and ignore this data.

  •  Thanks Joan for this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bartcopfan

    Medicaid expansion is a very large part of the ACA. It will surely save lives in those states wise enough to avail themselves of it.

  •  It has to do w/lack of a compassion gene. (0+ / 0-)

    And, since the repubs don't know any of the people who will die because of lack of health insurance (since the rich all have health insurance) it doesn't matter.

    It's all about DNA. Protecting their heirs, hating, no compassion etc

    "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

    by BrianParker14 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 09:01:18 PM PDT

  •  And where is the "right to life" for these folks? (0+ / 0-)
    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....The fight Republican governors are having with the White House isn't about the politics, it's about lives.
    Or are the forced-birthers done w/ us once we're born?

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:09:49 AM PDT

  •  missed the point (0+ / 0-)

    See that's where you went wrong.  teavangelimpuglicants don't want to save lives in the first place.  if you save the life of a "taker" they live to "take" another day...........

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