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Study: Medicaid expansion would prevent more than 1,000 deaths in Florida


A study published on the Health Affairs blog concluded that between 1,158 and 2,221 deaths in Florida could be prevented if the state embraced Medicaid expansion.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Hunter College conducted the study, which was based on data from various sources they used to estimate the impact of Medicaid expansion on mortality.

"The Supreme Court's decision to allow states to opt out of Medicaid expansion will have adverse health and financial consequences. Based on recent data from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, we predict that many low-income women will forego recommended breast and cervical cancer screening; diabetics will forego medications, and all low-income adults will face a greater likelihood of depression, catastrophic medical expenses, and death," the researchers wrote.

Despite the support of Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Senate and Democrats, efforts to use $51 billion federal Medicaid expansion dollars to reduce the number of poor Floridians were unsuccessful last year. House Republicans blocked a plan to use that funding to buy private insurance policies for roughly 1 million people.

There is a new bill filed in the Senate to re-ignite the debate this session, and a companion is anticipated in the House. But House GOP leaders say they remain opposed to accepting federal dollars.

Click here to view the full report at Health Affairs. The data on preventable deaths by state is listed in the chart labeled Exhibit 3.