From the community

New Study Compels Action on Health Care Expansion

Posted Jan. 31, 2014, at 3:23 p.m.

A new study of data published in Health Affairs, a leading, peer-reviewed health care journal, has identified the deadly consequences for states that fail to expand access to health care by accepting federal funding through the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s critical that Maine expand access to health care. It’s a smart financial decision, and it’s the right moral decision,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. “In this new study, the researchers identified the deadly consequences of failing to act. Lives will be needlessly lost. It’s time to put partisanship and ideology aside and do what’s right for the people of Maine.”

In the study, researchers found that between 7,115 and 17,104 deaths will be attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in states that fail to expand coverage. Despite using a smaller estimate for the number of people eligible for health care expansion in Maine than other researches, the study still predicts between 31 and 157 deaths that could have been avoided if the state expands Medicaid.

“The researchers predict that many low-income women will skip life-saving cancer screenings, diabetics will not have access to the medicine they need, more families will face catastrophic medical expenses and people will die needlessly,” Michaud said. “The positive impact on Maine’s economy from expansion is clear, but we can never forget that we are talking about real people – mothers, fathers, grandparents – who face an uncertain future without access to affordable health care. Maine must take action. Lives are on the line.”

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