This is from Chris Conover:
Since the evidence is equivocal at best, let us — for purposes of discussion — average the point estimates from 4 studies…and compare this relative mortality risk (1.22) to other factors that elevate the annual probability of death.
…[I]f the goal of health reform were simply to reduce mortality and if we believe the uninsured face a 22% higher mortality risk [I trust the first half of this post makes clear that I believe this figure greatly exaggerates that risk, and am using it merely for discussion purposes], then for each uninsured person who became newly covered under ObamaCare, we could have achieved roughly the equivalent or greater mortality reductions by a) having a high school graduate earn a graduate school degree; b) preventing one divorce; c) getting an obese person down to normal weight; or d) getting one smoker to quit.
Given that ObamaCare will (according to the CBO) spend $4,700 in subsidies per person who receives subsidized coverage on the Exchange in 2014, one obvious question is whether we could have gotten more bang for the buck by focusing on any of these alternative approaches to reducing mortality. The unequivocal answer is yes: here’s just one example of a smoking cessation program able to achieve its results at an average cost of $540 per quitter. There’s plenty more such interventions where that came from. And remember, that’s a one-time cost, not an annual on-going cost like the Exchange subsidies will be.