KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Study: Medicaid Expansion Has Potential To Be A Lifesaver

A Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that low-income residents of three states that expanded Medicaid generally lived longer, were healthier and had better access to health care than residents of neighboring states that did not expand the program.

Los Angeles Times: Medicaid May Help People Live Longer, Study Indicates
As states consider whether to expand their Medicaid insurance programs for the poor under President Obama's healthcare law, new research indicates the decision may have life-and-death consequences. A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that residents of states that expand coverage will probably live longer, be healthier and have better access to medical care (Levey, 7/25).

The New York Times: Medicaid Expansion May Lower Death Rates, Study Says
Into the maelstrom of debate over whether Medicaid should cover more people comes a new study by Harvard researchers who found that when states expanded their Medicaid programs and gave more poor people health insurance, fewer people died (Belluck, 7/25).

The Wall Street Journal: Death Rates Vary In Medicaid Study
States that opted for larger Medicaid programs had lower death rates, according to a study released Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings come as states struggle with the growing financial burden of the health-insurance program for the poor, and weigh whether to take part in its expansion under President Barack Obama's health-care law (Dooren, 7/25).

The Associated Press: Study: New Medicaid Expansion Could Be A Lifesaver
States that expand their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama's health care law may end up saving thousands of lives, a medical journal report released Wednesday indicates. 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 (Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/25).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Medicaid Expansion Reduces Mortality, Study Finds
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Matthew Fleming reports: "As states decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income childless adults, the impact of their choices became clearer today in a study showing a reduction of mortality in states that have already made that move" (Fleming, 7/25).

NPR: Flaws And All, Medicaid Can Improve Adults' Health
Among the reasons some governors say they're considering not expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act is that Medicaid is, well, not a very good program. … But a study just published online by the New England Journal of Medicine adds to a growing body of evidence that Medicaid, in fact, does improve the health of those it covers (Rovner, 7/25).

Bloomberg: Deaths Fell In States That Expanded Medicaid, Harvard Study Says
Expanding U.S. state Medicaid programs may contribute to reduced death rates, as the poor, elderly and other vulnerable people benefit from greater access to health care, Harvard University researchers said in a report. Three states that expanded Medicaid in 2001 and 2002, New York, Arizona and Maine (BSTIME), collectively saw a 6.1 percent decline in the death rate for people age 20 to 64 compared to neighboring states, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, led by assistant professor Benjamin Sommers, found larger reductions among minorities and low-income people (Wayne, 7/26).

McClatchy Newspapers: Medicaid May Help People Live Longer, Study Indicates
As states consider whether to expand their Medicaid insurance programs for the poor under President Barack Obama's health care law, new research indicates the decision may have life-and-death consequences. A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that residents of states that expand coverage will likely live longer, be healthier and have better access to medical care. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health - who compared states that voluntarily expanded their Medicaid programs over the last decade with neighboring states that did not - found mortality rates were more than 6 percent lower in states with more generous coverage (Levey, 7/25).

Reuters: Medicaid Expansion In U.S. States Found To Cut Death Rates
State expansions of the Medicaid health insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality rates by more than 6 percent compared to states that did not broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study released on Wednesday. The findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine could fuel a political furor over new plans for a nationwide expansion of Medicaid that erupted after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to uphold President Barack Obama's healthcare law in late June (Krauskopf, 7/25).

Medpage Today: Medicaid Expansion Could Cut Death Rate
Expanding Medicaid programs might actually reduce mortality in low-income adults, a three-state study found, calling into question states opting out of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Medicaid expansion in light of last month's landmark Supreme Court ruling. All-cause mortality in New York, Maine, and Arizona dropped by 19.6 deaths per 100,000 adults -- a 6.1% decrease (P=0.001) -- over a 10-year period when Medicaid coverage was expanded, a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine found (Jasmer, 7/25).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.