Newly Published Studies Highlight the Public Health Benefits of Medicaid Expansion

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A University of Michigan study, which was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research on July 22, 2019, suggests that expanding Medicaid coverage is associated with a reduction in mortality in low-income populations. The study authors claim that approximately 15,600 deaths could have been avoided if the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion had been enacted nationwide. States that expanded Medicaid experienced a 0.13 percent decline in annual mortality, resulting in around 4,800 fewer deaths per year nationally. The reduction in mortality is likely associated with increased utilization of health care, including access to treatment and screening. Another study by Yale University, released earlier this year, found that Medicaid expansion also reduced a racial disparity in cancer treatment between white and black patients. Before expanding Medicaid, there was a 4.8 percent disparity for cancer treatment between these two groups, but after expanding Medicaid, the disparity shrank to 0.8 percent.

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