By Michael Hiltzik | July 22, 2019
Adversaries of Medicaid expansion have always pointed to the lack of evidence that enrollment in Medicaid improves health and saves lives, and therefore the expansion is a waste.
A new study should put that argument to rest, permanently. The researchers found not only that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act brought appreciable improvements in health to enrollees, but also that full expansion nationwide would have averted 15,600 deaths among the vulnerable Medicaid-eligible population.
In other words, the 22 mostly red states that refused to accept expansion starting in 2014 caused 15,600 unnecessary deaths among their residents. “This highlights an ongoing cost to non-adoption that should be relevant to both state policymakers and their constituents,” write the study’s authors, charitably. Fourteen states are still holding out.