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Medicaid Expansion Has Saved Thousands of Lives: Report

Michael Rainey

The expansion of state-level Medicaid programs as allowed by the Affordable Care Act is literally a matter of life and death, according to a new study highlighted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Wednesday.

The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that between 2014 and 2017, Medicaid expansion saved the lives of more than 19,000 people between the ages of 55 and 64 in those states that opted to expand their programs. By contrast, states that did not expand Medicaid saw more than 15,000 additional premature deaths in the same age group.

Matt Broaddus and Aviva Aron-Dine of CBPP say the report underscores the importance of expanding Medicaid in the states that have thus far avoided doing so. “The lifesaving impacts of Medicaid expansion are large: an estimated 39 to 64 percent reduction in annual mortality rates for older adults gaining coverage,” they said.


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