There is optimism that the health and life expectancies of the elderly and vulnerable could soon improve, following a recent statistical study by Harvard researchers. Analysts found that three states which had recently expanded their Medicaid coverage saw a collective 6 percent drop in their respective adult death rates. The three states observed in the study were Arizona, Maine, and New York. Based on this, researchers are hoping that thousands of lives may be saved in the near future, with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act giving states the opportunity to expand their Medicaid programs, should they choose to.
Despite the study’s prediction that one death will be prevented for every 176 adults covered under an expanded Medicaid program, many states are expected not to alter their existing Medicaid programs. Some state governors—including the governors of Texas and Florida—have openly rejected any such expansion, while other governors remain undecided about what actions to take for their states. It currently appears that at least a handful of states will reject this opportunity to move more of their uninsured citizens onto the Medicaid roles. The Congressional Budget Office projects that these rejections could deprive around 3 million Americans from gaining health coverage – some for decades. Based on the Harvard study, some percentage of that population will die sooner than it would otherwise be expected to.
For more information on this topic, visit: https://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-07-25/study-new-medicaid-expansion-could-be-a-lifesaver