In further news from the Not Really Pro-Life Department, Governor Kristi Noem and other Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act may have contributed to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of Americans with cancer. So says preliminary research from Dr. Anna Lee, radiation oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City:
Lee’s team analyzed nationwide data from 1999 to 2017 and found a 29 percent decline in cancer deaths in states that expanded Medicaid, from 65.1 to 46.3 per 100,000 people.
In states that didn’t expand Medicaid, there was a 25 percent decline, from 69.5 to 52.3 per 100,000 people.
The additional benefits for states that expanded Medicaid amounted to an estimated 785 fewer cancer deaths in 2017 alone. The findings will be presented this week at a virtual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, or ASCO. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“This study provides needed data to understand the effects of Medicaid expansion on cancer care. Better access to quality cancer care, in this case through state expansion of Medicaid, leads to fewer cancer deaths,” Dr. Richard Schilsky, ASCO chief medical officer and executive vice president, said in a meeting news release [“Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare May Have Cut U.S. Cancer Deaths,” UPI: Health Day, 2020.05.15].
Beating cancer, lowering maternal mortality, lowering infant mortality, not to mention budget-neutrally stimulating the economy—none of that is important to Kristi Noem as her ideological commitment to never admitting that Barack Obama had a good idea and that working together through government can produce positive results for all Americans.