* Thousands to Die from State Medicaid Opt-Out * Food Stamps Cut as Corporations Profit

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

* Thousands to Die from State Medicaid Opt-Out * Food Stamps Cut as Corporations Profit

WASHINGTON - SAMUEL L. DICKMAN, samuel_dickman at hms.harvard.edu
STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER, M.D., swoolhan at hunter.cuny.edu
MARK ALMBERG, mark at pnhp.org, @pnhp
A study just released by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York finds: “The number of deaths attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states at between 7,115 and 17,104. Medicaid expansion in opt-out states would have resulted in 712,037 fewer persons screening positive for depression and 240,700 fewer individuals suffering catastrophic medical expenditures. Medicaid expansion in these states would have resulted in 422,553 more diabetics receiving medication for their illness, 195,492 more mammograms among women age 50-64 years and 443,677 more pap smears among women age 21-64.” The study, titled “Health and Financial Harms of 25 States’ Decision to Opt Out of Medicaid Expansion” was just published by Health Affairs.

Dickman, A.B. at Harvard University and Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. at Harvard are two of the co-authors. Almberg is communications director for Physicians for a National Health Program, which released a statement on the study: “The researchers found that because of the [25] states’ ‘opting out’ of the Medicaid expansion, 7.78 million people who would have gained coverage will remain uninsured.”

MICHELE SIMON, michele@eatdrinkpolitics.com, @MicheleRSimon
AP reports: “House passes $100-billion-a-year farm bill that cuts food stamps but preserves crop subsidies.” The Real News reports: “This is the first time in history that Democrats supported cutting food stamps.”

Simon is president of Eat Drink Politics and author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back. She wrote the piece “Save food stamp program by reforming it” and said today: “The 2012 farm bill gets passed in 2014 but for all the dysfunction and delay, the end result was the usual big gifts to big agribusiness while organic farming and other sustainable programs settle for crumbs. And yet the collection reaction of the food movement is, ‘Oh well, it could have been worse.’

“Regarding food stamps, while advocates are rightly concerned about cuts to the poor, left out of the conversation is how this $80 billion program serves the likes of Coke, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase more than the truly needy.”

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