Remember all the reasons advanced for the Affordable Care Act? It was going to control private sector health care costs. It was going to control the government’s health care costs. It was going to be funded by efficiencies found in Medicare.
Each of these arguments has fallen, one by one. Then there was this argument:
Expanding insurance coverage would reduce absenteeism, disability and mortality, thereby encouraging and enabling work.
This reasoning is flawed. The evidence that a broad coverage expansion would improve health is questionable. Some studies have shown that targeted coverage can improve the health of certain groups. But according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured, “evidence is lacking that health insurance improves the health of non-elderly adults.” More recent work by Richard Kronick, a health-policy adviser to former President Bill Clinton, concludes “there is little evidence to suggest that extending insurance coverage to all adults would have a large effect on the number of deaths in the U.S.”
More from Daniel Kessler in the Wall Street Journal.