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For $460 Billion a Year, Medicaid Darn Well Better Save Lives

None1257 Wrote: Jul 29, 2012 2:19 PM
If the amount of money you want to spend is not a problem, can you save lives?

A study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine finds that when three states expanded their Medicaid programs, mortality rates fell 6 percent relative to four neighboring states. The study found evidence that the mortality gains were concentrated in poorer counties — i.e., where people were most likely to become eligible for Medicaid.

As always, the study comes with caveats. The results “may not be generalizable to other states,” may have been driven by unobservable confounding factors, et cetera. Speaking only for myself, I hope these results are accurate. I hope Medicaid does save lives. That program spends nearly half a...

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