Thursday, July 26, 2012
A study was just published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found Medicaid coverage lowers death rates. The researchers, from Harvard's School of Public Health, studied three states that had expanded Medicaid coverage to poor adults who, until the ACA, were an optional coverage category for the states. Comparing these states to those without such Medicaid expansions, the study found:
Medicaid expansions were associated with a significant reduction in adjusted all-cause mortality (by 19.6 deaths per 100,000 adults, for a relative reduction of 6.1%; P=0.001). Mortality reductions were greatest among older adults, nonwhites, and residents of poorer counties. Expansions increased Medicaid coverage (by 2.2 percentage points, for a relative increase of 24.7%; P=0.01), decreased rates of uninsurance (by 3.2 percentage points, for a relative reduction of 14.7%; P<0.001), decreased rates of delayed care because of costs (by 2.9 percentage points, for a relative reduction of 21.3%; P=0.002), and increased rates of self-reported health status of “excellent” or “very good” (by 2.2 percentage points, for a relative increase of 3.4%; P=0.04).
In other words, much like the study in Orgeon, these researchers found that Medicaid improves health -- important information for governors considering their "options". (Governor Perry? Governor Scott? Where are you going?)