Is Medicaid Worthless?

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Over at The Corner, Robert VerBruggen highlights the results of a new study that looks at the result of Medicaid expansion in California:

On the benefits side, we do not detect significant improvements in patient health, although the expansion led to substantially greater hospital and emergency room use, and a reallocation of care from public to private and better-quality hospitals.

(Emphasis mine.) This paper joins an illustrious list of studies that find no benefit to Medicaid because they define “health” as “not dying.” That’s it. You feel better? You got a cavity filled? You got a prescription for an antidepressant? A new hip? Sorry, that doesn’t count. The only thing that counts is mortality. If that cavity wasn’t going to kill you, then this study doesn’t care about it.

And while we’re on the subject, why California? This has got to be one of the worst possible states to study since we already have relatively good indigent health care. Switching to Medicaid may have some advantages, but in California it probably has only a modest effect on health.

Anyway, I’ll make my usual offer to the folks who enjoy highlighting studies like this: If you’re really convinced that insurance has no particular effect on health, then put your money where your mouth is and ditch your own coverage. Any takers?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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