Study: Romneycare saves lives

Remember Romneycare? You know, the universal health care plan in Massachusetts championed (and signed) in 2006 by then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, which required individuals who could afford it to buy health insurance (or pay a tax or fine if they didn't). Yes, Romneycare, the law that provided a blueprint for key components of the national Affordable Care Act.

According to this study led by Benjamin Summers of the Harvard School of Public Health, Romneycare has saved lives in Massachusetts, particularly among low-income people. Here's a summary of the study's results:

Reform in Massachusetts was associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality compared with the control group (-2.9%; P = 0.003, or an absolute decrease of 8.2 deaths per 100 000 adults). Deaths from causes amenable to health care also significantly decreased (-4.5%; P < 0.001). Changes were larger in counties with lower household incomes and higher prereform uninsured rates. Secondary analyses showed significant gains in coverage, access to care, and self-reported health.

This article by Brett LoGiurato provides more details.