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ICYMI: As Republicans Keep Attacking Health Care Law, “Evidence Grows That It Has Saved Lives”

Senate Republicans still backing toxic lawsuit that presents “most immediate threat” to protections making Americans “healthier

As Republicans “vow to try again” to dismantle the health care protections their constituents rely on, and as their reckless lawsuit to gut the health care law moves through the courts, the evidence is clearer than ever that the Affordable Care Act “has saved lives.” The Washington Post reports this week that the law’s Medicaid expansion and coverage protections — such as those for people with pre-existing conditions and allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 — are “making some Americans healthier — and less likely to die.”

Vulnerable Republican Senators are still refusing to take a stand against their party’s toxic lawsuit that presents the “most immediate threat” to the health care law — even after their reckless tax giveaway to corporate special interests laid the foundation for the suit — demonstrating yet again why they “have no credibility” on voters’ “most important” issue.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Washington Post: With the Affordable Care Act’s future in doubt, evidence grows that it has saved lives

By Amy Goldstein 

September 30, 2019

Key Points:

  • Poor people in Michigan with asthma and diabetes were admitted to the hospital less often after they joined Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. More than 25,000 Ohio smokers got help through the state’s Medicaid expansion that led them to quit. And around the country, patients with advanced kidney disease who went on dialysis were more likely to be alive a year later if they lived in a Medicaid-expansion state.
  • Such findings are part of an emerging mosaic of evidence that, nearly a decade after it became one of the most polarizing health-care laws in U.S. history, the ACA is making some Americans healthier — and less likely to die.
  • The evidence is accumulating just as the ACA’s future is, once again, being cast into doubt. The most immediate threat arises from a federal lawsuit, brought by a group of Republican state attorneys general, that challenges the law’s constitutionality. A trial court judge in Texas ruled late last year that the entire law is invalid, and an opinion on the case is expected at any time from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. The case could well put the ACA before the Supreme Court for a third time.
  • President Trump has dismantled as much of the law as his administration can, by expanding the availability of skimpy, inexpensive health plans that skirt ACA rules, for example, and slashing federal aid to help people sign up for coverage through ACA insurance marketplaces.
  • With about 20 million Americans now covered through private health plans under the ACA’s insurance marketplaces or Medicaid expansions, researchers have been focusing on a question that was not an explicit goal of the law: whether anyone is healthier as a result.
  • …some strong evidence has emerged in the past few years. Compared with similar people who have stable coverage through their jobs, previously uninsured people who bought ACA health plans with federal subsidies had a big jump in detection of high blood pressure and in the number of prescriptions they had filled, according to a 2018 study in the journal Health Affairs.
  • And after the law allowed young adults to stay longer on their parents’ insurance policies, fewer 19- to 25-year-olds with asthma failed to see a doctor because it cost too much, according to an analysis of survey results published earlier this year by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the full story here.

Read more about the Republicans’ reckless attacks on the health care law “making some Americans healthier — and less likely to die”:

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