Health Care Makes People Healthier! Who Knew?

Health Care, Obama Administration

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine yesterday said that after the 2006 “Romneycare” law went into effect in Massachusetts, mortality rates in Massachusetts dropped by about 3 percent.

The study tallied deaths in Massachusetts from 2001 to 2010 and found that the mortality rate — the number of deaths per 100,000 people — fell by about 3 percent in the four years after the law went into effect. The decline was steepest in counties with the highest proportions of poor and previously uninsured people. In contrast, the mortality rate in a control group of counties similar to Massachusetts in other states was largely unchanged.

A national 3 percent decline in mortality among adults under 65 would mean about 17,000 fewer deaths a year.

There have been a number of estimates of how many people die in the U.S. every year because they lack insurance. I think that’s a hard thing to quantify, and some people (Megan McCardle, actually) denied that access to health care made any difference to mortality rates at all, based on some standard McCardle-style reasoning that makes sense only if you don’t think about it.

The estimates have ranged from a low of 18,000 deaths per year to a high of 45,000 (analysis here), and the new study comes closer to supporting the lower figure. However, I postulate that the effects might be larger in poorer states, especially over a longer period of time (the study only covered 2006-2010). I believe Massachusetts already had lower mortality rates than much of the rest of the country, mostly because it is more affluent overall. Also, it’s going to take a few years before the effects of long years of neglect fade away. But they’re not going to fade so much in “Medicaid gap” states.

See also interesting comments from The Incidental Economist.

Meanwhile Gallup reports that the percentage of uninsured Americans has dropped to the lowest point since they began measuring the percentage of uninsured Americans.

Also meanwhile, some whackjob Republican is comparing Obamacare to the Holocaust. And a majority of Americans still think Obamacare is a failure.

Share Button


  1. c u n d gulag  •  May 6, 2014 @10:08 am

    And now, our Conservatives will scream that PPACA, by allowing more people to reach retirement age, is costing Social Security money – so that they BOTH need to be repealed!!!

    And yes, Obamacare IS exactly like the Holocaust – because Hitler was actually rounding up the Jews to improve their health care, but got sidetracked.
    Remember, only 3 out of any 4 people you randomly meet, aren’t insane Authoritarian followers – the other one can be a creature who votes for absolute morons, like Stacey Campfield.

  2. Ed  •  May 6, 2014 @2:45 pm

    “And yes, Obamacare IS exactly like the Holocaust – because Hitler was actually rounding up the Jews to improve their health care, but got sidetracked.”

    But even Hitler did not do anything that would raise their premiums to pay for birth control!

  3. c u n d gulag  •  May 6, 2014 @4:15 pm

    But lowering costs for the Juden Madchen to have abortions, would have truly made him one of HISTORIES GREATEST MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Tom_B  •  May 6, 2014 @6:14 pm

    So….. Obamacare is working and the world has’nt come to an end… and what are the Republicans running on? Obamacare and killing Social Security. The two things certain in life are Death and Stoopid.

  5. Swami  •  May 6, 2014 @10:21 pm

    That analogy comparing Obamacare to the Holocaust is a piss poor analogy. The Jews didn’t “sign up” for deportation. Maybe that Repug asswipe should go back and study his history.
    He claims he doesn’t want to diminish the horror that was the Holocaust, but that’s exactly what he’s doing by comparing anything about Obamacare to the Holocaust. He just another typical Repug who’s talking out their ass tearing down Obamacare but doesn’t have a valid reason for his objection to it. If the best he can come up with is “freedom” than he’s really hurting on the intellectual front.

  6. c u n d gulag  •  May 7, 2014 @8:01 am

    Think about the voters in that state, and how stupid a goober you have to be, to look at this “MORAN!” and say, “I’m gonna vote fer him! He’s a smart one, he is!!!”

    About this blog

    About Maha
    Comment Policy

    Vintage Mahablog
    Email Me

    eXTReMe Tracker

      Technorati Profile