"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bad News for ObamaCare-- Study: Medicaid Has No Effect on Health Outcomes


"You can all thank me for ObamCare with your immediate adoration. Kissing the feet of my statues is optional. And also use this picture of me in the future history books. Or that photo of me with the golden halo. I like that one too."

Oops.

More bad news for ObamaCare. This smelly piece of legislation is just piling on the good times.

From the piece at Reason.com by Peter Suderman (h/t Instapundit):

This is huge, and stunning, even for critics of Medicaid: A randomized-controlled studypublished in the New England Journal of Medicine by a group of nation's top health policy scholars has found that Medicaid has no measurable effect on any of the objectively measured physical health outcomes the study examined.  
In its second-year results, the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, which randomly assigned Medicaid to 10,000 people in Oregon, and compared them with a randomly selected control group, found that those who got Medicaid did not on average have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or diabetic blood pressure control than those who did not get Medicaid. Those with Medicaid did see some reduction in out of pocket health expenses. They were also less likely to be diagnosed with depression. 
The Medicaid recipients also ended up utilizing a lot more health care—care that has to be paid for—than those who didn't get coverage. But they didn't use the emergency room any less than the control group.

This study is perhaps the best and most important study of Medicaid's health effects ever conducted, and it has huge implications for public policy—in particular for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which is supposed to account for about half of the law's increase in health coverage. Obamacare supporters had used the results from the study's first year, which showed large gains in self-reported health, to argue that the law's expansion of Medicaid was justified. The second-year results significantly complicate that argument.  
But there was always good reason to be skeptical that the study would not reveal that Medicaid coverage improves health on the health markers measured. As I noted when the first results from the study were published, even though it is true that self-reported health status rose amongst the population assigned Medicaid, the bulk of the improvement in self-reporting occurred prior to the provision of any care. Just because the Medicaid recipients said they felt better, in other words, did not necessarily suggest that they were measurably healthier. And now, it turns out, they weren't, at least not by any measure the study examined.
Yeah, it's weird but giving more people cruddy health insurance through Medicaid doesn't automatically make you healthier. In fact, pretty much anybody familiar with actuarials would've been able to tell you that, but better to have a scientific study to fall back on.

The more we find out about ObamaCare and health care, the more we see that this expensive law was written by people who were ill-informed, ideologically driven, and arrogant enough to believe that they could just legislate reality. This is just one more example of why you don't cowardly rush through grand, far-reaching laws in the middle of the night-- right around Christmas as I recall. There's a reason for thoughtful deliberation, but the Democrats believe that they're above all that.

And we're all going to pay for it. Justice Roberts made sure of that when he cut some deal with the Left Justices and gave us this brave new way of coercing citizens to buy a product. Which fits nicely into the definition of economic Fascism, by the way.

What a law...

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