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More Medicaid, Less Adult Mortality

More Medicaid, Less Adult Mortality

A new study just released shows that adult mortality decreases in states that have expanded their Medicaid services. Reuters reports that the study was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine and concluded that adult mortality rates went down by six percent in states that developed wider Medicaid services over the course of five years.

The study was conducted by an advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Benjamin Sommers, who works with the Harvard School of Public Health. But it has been made clear that the work is not intended to reflect the current government’s stance on the issues of Medicaid and expansion.

The study looked at adults between the ages of 20 and 64 years old in three states that expanded Medicaid coverage, and three states that did not. The numbers were compared over a five year period to ascertain the effect of the expansion. Researchers feel relatively certain they have isolated Medicaid and readily available care as a possible component in the decrease in adult mortality rates. The study is the first one that takes a look at the mortality of adults in this context, rather than children, the Wall Street Journal points out. Researchers also adjusted the outcomes according to variables such as race, age and sex.

As quoted on MSNBC, Benjamin Sommers concluded:

The takeaway is that state expansions of Medicaid coverage to adults appear to be effective at improving both access to care and health for low-income Americans.

The study comes in the wake of countless months of debates in which Republican politicians have refused the efficacy and viability of Medicaid plans in improving health and vitality of low-income populations. Many states have flat out stated they cannot afford an expansion in Medicaid, even after the health care law was passed and a nationwide expansion has been encouraged in the Affordable Care Act.

Medicaid has also been attacked and villainized in recent months in states like Virginia for providing abortions to low-income women. In these attacks, Medicaid is often portrayed as a tool used by the government in order to promote abortion.

This most recent study, although not comprehensive, begins to uncover a possible connection between the overall health of certain populations, especially in older, nonwhite communities, and the availability and affordability of preventative health care.

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49 comments

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1:23PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

i have a better idea! why not promote a healthier eating lifestyle (i'm not talking about a diet, but a life changing REHAUL ). by eating a 100% plant based diet, think of how much money Medicaid, Medicare would save!!! high cholesterol, diabetes, arteosclerosis, heart disease, MS (the list is very long) could mostly be prevented/reversed/cured by a vegan diet(free of soda, junk food, fast food and anyone who used to be alive before it ended on your plate). don't believe me? try eating vegan for a month and see how much energy you will have, and your little ills will little by little go away, no matter how old you are!

3:37AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Medicare is not the solution,only a Global Health Care plan will solve your problems.

7:52AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Most, if not all, governments are the same; if you don't earn a certain amount of money - and therefore pay a certain level of taxation - they would rather you shuffled off your mortal coil, as you are of no use or value to them.

9:56PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

common sense

5:59PM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and increasing Medicaid programs are proof of that. The more people are able to access preventive health care, such as routine physicals, the more they are able to catch potential health problems and chronic conditions while they can still be nipped in the bud. This results not just in healthier people, but less of a drain on society in the form of missed work days, increased hospital costs, and increased health costs for medical conditions that aren't discovered until they're emergent!

5:25AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

I would like to remind the readers of Care2 that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man taking a cut of "FREE MONEY".

Western European health care systems are far cheaper than the U.S. model. And they are more effective. The French health care system is the most expensive yet it comes in at less than 2/3s of the cost of that of the U.S.

The reason for this is profit. In the U.S. everyone along the line takes a profit cut. The health care service providers have to make a profit just as the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.

This costs all of us. For one thing care is rationed to save profits for the insurance industry. And care is denied by the insurance industry.

This is why we desperately needed a strong public option in the new health care legislation. We needed a public option that could evolve into a system that did not include a parasitic insurance industry or a for-profit health care services providers.

Before this can happen we have to remove money from the legislative process. Well, you know what we are up against.

Now the paid right wing misinformationists will jump on here and tell you how bad Canadians and Europeans have it. Just remember, they are paid to lie.

2:42AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

Studies, smudies, they don't mean anything. Fairy GOD wants everybody to DIE. It's IN the old testament. We can't go against GOD, ask ANY Republican Nazi in our GOVERNMENT! They have told us over and over, PRAISE JESUS and cut Medicaid! Keep those babies popping out
and DIE TRYING.

12:36AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

Thanks for sharing!

8:04PM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

In That It Is "FACT" That Medicaid Saves Lives, Not Funding Medicaid Fully Is Not An Option.

5:21PM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

I'm for expanding medicaid by purchasing some county hospitals and run them like the VA.

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