You know the “conventional wisdom” that the “lamestream media” is always trying to feed you: people who go to the doctor when they’re sick tend to live longer than people who just hope that pus-filled abscess on their leg will “go away” if they put a mud poultice on it. And since here in USA America you have to pay money or have insurance to go to a doctor (usually both!), it stands to reason that people who don’t have money and/or insurance tend to die more quickly than people who do. But what if … the opposite were true? What if giving poor people access to insurance causes them literally to die? Wouldn’t the whole Obamacare business basically be the Holocaust, then? The very fact that a bunch of Harvard red diaper babies are trying to claim that Medicaid helps keep poor people alive is solid proof that Medicaid is murder!
So you might remember that when Politburo Chief John Roberts ended American freedom and approved the Health Care Law, he threw conservatives a bone and said that states didn’t have to pay for poor people’s health insurance, via Medicaid, if they didn’t want to. This has made the efficacy of Medicaid a live political issue, not that it hasn’t always been! The New York Times, working hard to “teach the controversy” in its article about how a peer-reviewed study showed that expanding Medicare resulted in fewer poor people dropping dead, informs us that:
Medicaid expansions are controversial, not just because they cost states money, but also because some critics, primarily conservatives, contend the program does not improve the health of recipients and may even be associated with worse health.
We are very curious about the Slate-style “counterintuitive take” articles written by conservatives, about how health insurance is bad for poor people, but will not search them out since they will probably put us into a murderous rage. We’ll just stay optimistic and assume that it speaks well of humanity that people need to hear “No, see, giving free health insurance to poor people will kill them,” because “Enh, giving free health insurance to poor people is too pricey, fuck ’em” still doesn’t play that well.
Anyway, we are liberal arts majors so we may be misunderstanding the math and numbers, but the Times says that liberal Harvard “estimated that the Medicaid expansions were associated with a decline of 6.1 percent in deaths, or about 2,840 per year for every 500,000 adults added.” And the CBO estimates that, what with all the Freedom states opting out, three million people won’t have insurance who otherwise would have under the law as written. That makes for 17,000 more dead people a year! Enjoy all your dead people, Freedom states. Meanwhile, hold tight for the next round of counterintuitive think pieces on Bizarro World Conservative Slate, with theme being “Obamacare is bad because it doesn’t cover enough people.” [NYT]
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