New York, Nov 1 : The number of uninsured Americans increased by about 2.3 million between 2016 and 2019, claims a new analysis of federal surveys on health insurance coverage in the US.
The analysis by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York’s Hunter College, published today in Health Affairs blog, said that the contraction of coverage under President Doanld Trump caused at least 3,399, and perhaps as many as 25,180, excess deaths even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The researchers examined results of three benchmark federal surveys that collect data on health insurance coverage — the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey.
All three surveys indicate that “uninsurance” has risen under President Trump, but the researchers cited the ACS results as the most reliable.
Using the ACS-based data indicating that the number of uninsured Americans has risen by 2.3 million, the researchers calculated the number of resulting excess deaths by applying estimates of the mortal consequences of being uninsured from previous peer-reviewed studies.
“I see that my uninsured patients often can’t get the care they need, and research proves that many who lack coverage die as a result,” noted study author Steffie Woolhandler, Professor at Hunter College and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
“President Trump has tried at every turn to undermine the ACA and chip away at coverage. That’s costing thousands of lives,” she added.
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