A new report gives us some numbers to support what we already knew - expanding Medicaid would save lives:
Until now, the Medicaid debate has been about budgets and states' rights. But a statistical study by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6 percent drop in the adult death rate in Arizona, Maine and New York, three states that have recently expanded coverage for low-income residents along the general lines of the federal health care law.
The study found that for every 176 adults covered under expanded Medicaid, one death per year would be prevented.
So let's just do the math for Missouri where we have about 20.7 thousand individuals who would be eligible for coverage under Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid. That amounts to about 118 people every year saved from death.
Expanding Medicaid as originally required by Obamacare would also bring Missourians' tax dollars back to the state. As Senator Claire McCaskill observed:
...it would be unfortunate for federal tax dollars to go to help states around the country, but not Missourians.
I think it would be mistake for Missouri officials to turn up their noses at a Medicaid expansion that is fully paid for by their federal tax dollars, [...] A little like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
So why is anyone even contemplating doing otherwise than expanding Medicaid? Another study suggests the reason by once again offering some numbers to confirm what we all already think we know: it's just more GOP politics as usual. George Washington University's Elizabeth Rigby analyzed a number of reasons commonly cited by balky states, such as, the magnitude of change in a particular state , cost, and popular sentiment against Obamacare, and found that:
... the driving factor behind opposition to the reform was found to be the partisan affiliation of state elected officials - with greater resistance seen in states in which either the legislative or executive branch were controlled by the Republican party.
More evidence that sore losers hurt us all.