Forest Grove physician writes that 'rejecting or blocking health care to people is deadly'

As part of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was offered to all 50 states. Nineteen Republican governors refused the Medicaid expansion (all told, 4.3 million Americans were denied their Medicaid).

DR. ROBERT L. SEWARDIn a calloused and immoral decision, the Supreme Court gave the states permission to reject Medicaid expansion. The governors' excuse for rejecting [it] was that in the third year they would have to pay 10 percent of it and they said "nobody would be hurt, because they can always go to the emergency room" for their health care.

In "Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion: The Health and Financial Impacts," Sam Dickman and David Himmelstein, M.D. (Health Affairs Blog, Jan. 30, 2014), Harvard researchers compared mortality between states that accepted Medicaid expansion to states that did not. They found that there were over 7,000 unnecessary deaths per year in the states that rejected Medicaid.

This study proves scientifically what common sense tells you — that rejecting or blocking health care to people is deadly.

Although the Republican governors' actions were legal, I feel they got away with murder, because studies prove their actions resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

The Cassidy/Graham bill would have denied health care to millions of Americans. If the Cassidy/Graham bill would have passed, as we now know from the studies above, there would have been thousands of unnecessary deaths. The Cassidy/Graham bill failed because of the courageous votes of Senators McCain, Collins and Murkowski. Thank you, John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Your votes saved thousands of lives. You are all American heroes.

Now there is evidence that the Trump administration, through [former Health and Human Services] director Tom Price, is actively sabotaging the ACA. This is interfering with the ACA health care law. This is sabotaging health care to millions and in my opinion this is murder — mass murder.

Robert L. Seward, M.D., is a Forest Grove


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