Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Evidence: Obamacare Is Not Saving Lives

Proponents of the health reform law that became known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) often argued that thousands of Americans were dying every year because of a lack of health insurance, and passing the proposed law would save thousands of lives every year. Opponents disputed those claims, and suggested that the law would not save lives, and would instead make people worse off and might even cost lives.
Now, new data shows that a U.S. life expectancy dropped in 2015 – a year after the major provisions of the ACA went into effect – and for the first time since 1993, when the drop was attributed to the AIDS epidemic, a flu outbreak, and an spike in homicide rates. While the relationship between health insurance and mortality might still be debated – and it is certainly too early to say that the ACA is as bad as the AIDS epidemic – one thing is clear: There is no evidence that the ACA is, on net, saving lives.
In 2009, during the run-up to the passage of a health care reform bill, Rep. Bill Pascrell (N-NJ) claimed on the House Floor that “as many as 22,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health insurance.” A few months later, prior to the Senate vote on what became the Affordable Care Act (ACA), then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) upped the ante, claiming that, “45,000 times this year – nearly 900 times every week, more than 120 times a day, on average every 10 minutes, without end – an American died as a direct result of not having health insurance.” 

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