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Study: Medicaid expansion would save lives

A nationwide Medicaid expansion would have prevented more than 15,000 deaths, according to a new analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

By the numbers: Researchers relied on data from the American Community Survey, an annual survey with some 4 million respondents, and matched that data with Census Bureau death records.

  • Before the expansion, people in the study's sample population died at about the same rate across different states. But a gap then emerged between expansion and nonexpansion states, the study says, once the expansion took effect. And that gap kept growing over time.

All told, expansion states saw a mortality rate that's about 0.2% lower than nonexpansion states, the authors write — which would translate to roughly 15,600 lives, had the expansion not been optional for states.

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