MA health reform saved lives

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A new study finds that health reform and expanded coverage in MA saved lives. Comparing MA counties with matched counties in other states, researchers found a drop in mortality, especially from causes amenable to health care (i.e. not due to accidents). A completely illegitimate, back-of-the-envelope, they’ll-take-my-degree-away calculation (is that enough disclaimers?) finds that 351 MA residents each year are saved due to reform. The impact on mortality was greatest in low-income, previously high-uninsured communities, as expected if coverage is the cause. The authors also found gains in access to care and overall health status. Living in CT and a reader of this blog you might think this conclusion is obvious, but there are doubters. Previous research on the subject was mixed but as described here the study design in this analysis is much stronger.