Skip to main content

People wait to receive a wristband number for medical treatment at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic in Wise, Virginia July 20, 2012.  RAM clinics bring free medical, dental and vision care to uninsured and under-insured people across the country and a
Free roaming health clinics, like the one these West Virginians are waiting for, aren't going to go away.
Twenty-five states have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. That leaves millions of people in the gap between being poor enough to qualify for existing Medicaid, and too poor to qualify for the subsidies available to buy private insurance on the health exchanges. Refusing the expansion is a political decision by Republican state lawmakers that will have a big economic impact for those states. What it will also cause, according to a new study from Harvard University and the City University of New York, is eight million people remaining uninsured, and up to 17,000 premature and avoidable deaths.
"We predict that many low-income women will forego recommended breast and cervical cancer screening; diabetics will forego medications and all low-income adults will face a greater likelihood of depression, catastrophic medical expenses and death," researchers wrote in the study, which was released on the website of the journal Health Affairs.

"We calculated the number and characteristics of people who will remain uninsured as a result of their state's opting out of the Medicaid expansion, and applied these figures to the known effects of insurance expansion from prior studies," lead author Samuel Dickman said. "The results were sobering. Political decisions have consequences, some of them lethal."

The authors break it down more in a post at Health Affairs. The sheers numbers of those not receiving screenings and treatments: 712,037 fewer diagnoses, and treatment, of depression; 240,700 people suffering "catastrophic medical expenditures"; 422,553 diabetics not receiving medication; 195,492 fewer mammograms; and 443,677 fewer pap smears. "Expansion would have resulted in an additional 658,888 women in need of mammograms gaining insurance," the authors say, "as well as 3.1 million women who should receive regular pap smears."

That's not counting the millions of idiotic conservatives who are opting out of insurance just out of spite over Obama. They'll still contribute to the avoidable death toll, and it will also be irrational.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:13 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site