How many people will Obamacare and AHCA kill?

Five separate people were bylined on a Center for American Progress post about how many people AHCA will kill. The post is quite long, but all the authors really do is take the CBO estimates of how many people will lose coverage under AHCA and then divide that number by 830. They do this because there is a study that shows that 1 person dies unnecessarily for every 830 people who lack health insurance.

I have duplicated CAP’s efforts here, but rather than focus only on the AHCA, I have also included Obamacare and single payer into the mix. One other difference is that I track cumulative deaths between 2017 to 2026 rather than reporting an annual figure for each year.

Under AHCA, nearly 540,000 people will die in the next decade because of lack of health insurance coverage. For Obamacare, it is a more respectable 320,000 deaths.

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106 thoughts on “How many people will Obamacare and AHCA kill?”

  1. Specious on its very face. NOT having health insurance doesn’t kill anyone. An ebola or bird flu outbreak in America could kill millions whether they have health insurance or not. Conversely, a fortunate, healthy person could live to be a hundred without health insurance and suffer a fatal stroke from falling in the shower. And projections of how many people will die in the future if one or the other policy is in effect is wild conjecture of the most convenient sort. This stuff is a waste of good electrons.

  2. people die because they are sick or diseased and don’t know it, or don’t have a doctor to tell them to make changes. hey, there’s a lot wrong with our food and health system, but seeing a doctor is still the best way to stay alive/add years to your life. these numbers are 100% best predictors. our system is disgusting

  3. Do you realize that you are re-stating the author’s rhetorical point? Reread the first paragraph where he points out the flawed methodology, then says he is duplicating it.

  4. This is extra people that will die would they have had insurance, not total health care related deaths

  5. Health Care and Health Insurance are two separate items inseparable from politics. The first question is should Health Insurance be mandatory or free?…If its a free choice…the consequences now are you get free or subsidized care in an emergency room setting…but no ongoing health care unless you pay for it on your own.
    If Americans think everybody should get health care beyond the emergency room setting…they someone needs to pay for it….Who pays is the rub….right now….its borrowed money is paying for it…ObamaCare doesn’t not pay for itself even with all the taxes…We could simply double to triple the medicare tax and have the single payer option….it does nothing to slow health care costs rising except thru rationing…but would end the health insurance debate….Do the elderly like their Medicare? Also Medicare does not provide long term care…so lets double Medicare tax again to take care of that…
    Big burden off business…which I would assume would love it….Now, what do we give the unemployed and the young?

  6. True. Nobody ever died from lack of insurance. They died from the lack of health care that insurance purchases.

    Nice distinction.

    Stupid, but nice.

  7. Health Insurance should not exist. There is no need for private intermediaries to be collecting financial gains off of required services. The government could just as easily create its own pool with everyone in it.

  8. This is super interesting, but the assumption that the original number of deaths that could’ve been prevented by insurance is applicable to all 50 states is unfortunately incorrect (the study explicitly states this). It could be higher or lower, dramatically so.

  9. Aren’t the real numbers going to be worse, because if you only look at insurance coverage projections, you are ignoring both the medicaid cuts & the fact that the coverage provided will be narrower?

  10. Single-payer has lower costs. It’s been shown again and again. In many countries single-payer is strongly supported by individuals who are otherwise politically conservative. Perhaps you should have a conversation with one of those people. There’s lots of them.

  11. My turn to play the straight man.

    Mr. Wesley, if you want to claim that these statistical models are so compromised as to be useless, you are free to critique them. As a far-left yet science-oriented guy, I aim to have my political beliefs in tune with observable reality. Therefore, if this statistical model is completely useless, I would like to understand why. Present your evidence, along with a catalogue of how the model’s assumptions fail, getting specific. I’m not even being sarcastic – but your manner of posting does not suggest to me that you are interested in criticizing rationally. I invite you to prove me wrong.

    Are any and all such projections ‘wild conjecture’? Life insurance companies don’t think so. Many of them make and have long made a tidy sum through similar statistical models. Hence, any move to generically rubbish any such models clearly would not be rationally oriented.

    Finally, it needs to be said that given the frequently-observed fact that many Americans do die from conditions they can’t afford to treat, we must as a baseline assume that higher health insurance costs will increase deaths. That is, any correct model will have deaths as an increasing function of insurance costs – any model that does not do this is implausible. Mr. Wesley, you are free to argue that lower taxes are on average sufficient compensation for more preventable deaths. But it had better be good – I already read the libertarians and classic conservatives.

  12. Medicare is ‘single payer’, and yet it does not guarantee adequate care, your value of ‘0’ for the single payer option is incorrect.

  13. You’re so stupid you can’t even see This is satire. His point was that zero deaths projected for single payer is completely absurd… just use any country that has single payer to confirm this.

    Seriously, some people have no sense.

  14. No, you missed the point. Obviously, there will still be deaths no matter what. This is only measuring deaths that could have been prevented by different policies.

    Bruenig is arguing for single-payer healthcare. And the context is that the people who are all up-in-arms about the ACA repeal are often people who hypocritically failed to say the same thing about the ACA in the debate at the time.

  15. Hemorrhaging doesn’t kill people, it’s the lack of oxygen & glucose supply to the cells.

  16. It’s no delusion. I’m just more familiar with Bruenig’s writing than you.


    “For Waldman, the change from Obamacare to single-payer health care is akin to remodeling your kitchen: a mostly cosmetic change that is better, but not strictly necessary. This too seems to be a widespread liberal sentiment, especially during the primary campaign of 2016 where single-payer was widely rejected by the conservative wing of the Democratic party and voted down (in favor of Obamacare) when it was proposed for the Democratic party platform.

    But in reality, the choice between single-payer and Obamacare is on par with the choice between Obamacare and AHCA. That is, a decision to favor AHCA over Obamacare is at least as horrific as the decision to favor Obamacare over single-payer.”

  17. You’re so far gone you don’t even know the difference between delusion and hallucination. The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

  18. How is that his point? He is using ‘0’, which you seem to agree is false, but he seems to think is correct.

    Also – ‘according to statistics’ – _what_ statistics? You have commented, but your point is not very clear.

  19. The study is in aggregate, while there is almost certainly significant state-by-state variation, that does not prevent an analysis of the full population.

  20. How is the PPACA a ‘tragedy’?

    More people covered saving literally tens of thousands of lives.
    A reduction in the rate of increase of healthcare costs.
    A minimum requirement for coverage and no longer allowing lifetime caps nor pre-existing conditions to stop people from getting insurance.

    What are the tragic occurences you are thinking of?

  21. As a prediction, the ‘real numbers’ will almost certainly be different – we are missing the variance in the model. That said, your point (if I understand it correctly) is that the new bills will cut more than insurance leading to more people dying from lack of care due to reasons beyond not having insurance coverage – in that, you are probably correct.

  22. You would need a properly random sample to apply it nationwide and get accurate results. The geographic limitation of single state means demographic proportions are unlikely to be representative of the country as a whole – especially a small, urban state like MA. As the study itself states, it’s not appropriate for generalization. It’s the same reason you wouldn’t take data gathered in a single country and apply it to the world at large.

  23. Like the wise Senator (and medical doctor) Rand Paul said… Obamacare makes doctors into slaves. Or rather, the doctors get paid, but it makes taxpayers into slaves. Under progressive taxation, the wealthier you are, the greater the oppressive burden of slavery upon you. With modern wealth/income inequalities at record highs, the burden of slavery is also at record highs. We have people enslaved at levels of literally millions of dollars *per year* — the typical billionaire is *hundreds of times over* more enslaved than a “traditionally enslaved” black farm laborer slave (who, ultimately, only would have lost maybe $20k/yr in modern dollars — far less than Rand Paul’s own tax bill I’m sure).

    Slavery is a lot worse tragedy than a few people dying of totally natural illnesses, wouldn’t you say? Everyone has to die anyway, but nobody has to be enslaved. Modern slavery of the megarich is the most extreme slavery the world has ever seen.

  24. It’s not an argument, it’s what the kids these days call a “joke thread.” Yeesh.

  25. It’s saddening that I’ll never know whether you are genuinely this stupid or just putting on an act to frustrate people. Such is the internet.

  26. Who’s a slave now? The doctors are slaves, but they aren’t… The taxpayers (literally everyone with income of any sort) are slaves? And the wealthiest have the heaviest burden of slavery?

    I think you (and the idiot Rand Paul) don’t actually know what slavery is.

    And thinking the megarich are enslaved is probably the stupidest idea I have heard all year – including our president’s tweets.

  27. Oh – and Paul is not a Medical Doctor – he’s an ophthalmologist – an eye doctor, not the same thing. He’s also no longer board certified – except by his own unaccredited board that dissolved twice after he didn’t bother to file paperwork (in 2000, and 2011) and was run by him and his family.

    But sure – he’s a medical expert.

  28. the chart is for “deaths caused by a lack of insurance”. It is not saying nobody will die with coverage. And it is not saying that more lives couldn’t be saved with even better coverage. In fact, you could make the same statement of 0 deaths with “Obamacare fully mandated”.

  29. Satire, my friend.

    An ophthalmologist is a legit doctor though. You’re possibly thinking of an optometrist.

  30. Regressives like you seem to forget more insurance companies pulling out every day so alot of the country no longer has a supplier… Premiums thru the roof… deductibles so high they’re useless. Shall I go on little snowflake?

  31. Jesus dude, learn to read a graph. Having people explain such basic concepts really make a you look even dumber.

  32. _Some_ insurance companies pulling out – largely because of Republicans who decided to cut funding for the risk corridor payments.

    There is no state where there is no supplier of insurance. There is no place where people cannot get insurance.

    Premiums were rising before Obamacare – and at a higher rate than they are now. Obamacare was never going to stop them from going up, nor was it ever promised that it would.

    So yes -since you haven’t gotten anything correct, you should go on.

    Should you decide to return to rant some more, I am also curious as to why you think ‘snowflake’ in an insult? How bizarre…

  33. Fair enough – he does have an MD, though he is not board certified in anything right now, and I don’t think he could practice, he at least has the training.

    Though – of course – his medical training does not give him particular expertise in the administration (as opposed to practice) of medicine. Nor does it lend any particular weight to either his philosophy of government nor any of his political views.

  34. You have poor reading comprehension.

    I said some insurers are pulling our. You link to an article about an insurer pulling out. How is what I said a lie?

    Largely because Republicans decided to cut funding for the risk corridor payments. Also true – they did, and that is causing losses to the insurance companies and they are pulling out – though Aetna is also pulling out because, “The news comes just a month after the Department of Justice announced it was blocking Aetna’s proposed $34 billion merger with Humana to expand its options for seniors.” That is – Aetna wants to merge with another giant company and they are not being allowed to – so whah! They’re going to take their toys and go home and screw the people that will die without health insurance.

    Meanwhile – idiot MAGA68 wants to blame ‘liberals’.

    You don’t even understand what the truth is – which makes it easy for Republicans to sucker you in – you want to Make America Great Again – great slogan – and you have fallen for it. They aren’t going to do anything for you – have fun dying young and broke.

  35. “People will die without health insurance”

    Dumbest quote in history. But you’re so brainwashed by the left you believe it as gospel.

    You cannot blame the Republicans for trying to clean up the mess the democrats made. Health insurance is NOT a right, it’s a service. And health insurance isn’t what keeps people alive dumbass, health care TREATMENT does. So dam stupid.

  36. You’re like a broken record all you can do is blame republicans for Democrat mistakes. It’s ol, we will clean it up for you, we always do.

  37. People _will_ die without health insurance. My aunt died from lack of health insurance and not wanting to be a burden on her family.

    You seem ok with that, but you are a fucking asshole who can’t spell ‘damn’.

  38. Why lie? Your aunt died because she had a medical condition, and she didn’t work hard enough in life to have money to pay for treatment. I bet it was because she was fat and out of shape. She didn’t take care of herself, so you want other people to pay her medical bills.

    Despite what you think, it’s NOT the government’s responsibility to ensure that every citizen is frugal and has enough money or insurance to cover medical problems.

    But you keep on pushing for less personal responsibility and lack of providing for yourself… you keep on promoting govt. determining your life for you. You’re so fukcing stupid you can’t see the forest for the trees.

  39. And why didn’t they have that insurance? Is it the government’s fault they didn’t save money every paycheck in case of a medical disaster? Why should taxpayers pay for those that don’t care enough about their own health to pay for their own problems? What if those people who want free healthcare do a TERRIBLE
    job of living healthy? Why should taxpayers pay for your chemo because you smoke 2 packs of cigarettes per day???

  40. I didn’t know you knew my aunt!

    Oh wait – you didn’t. You don’t know shit about shit, and instead have decided on a story that makes you feel better.

    Go fuck yourself, troll.

  41. No, it’s not. He didn’t compare it to anything. But thanks for failing at reading comprehension.

  42. More cognitive dissonance. Absolutely absurd to even suggest such a thing. But your CD creates your hallucinations so you can justify being so wrong about the world.

  43. Evidently you misunderstood ‘go fuck yourself’ and thought it meant ‘yes, please – I would love to hear more from you’.

    For someone pretending to like reason and logic, you seem to have trouble grasping basic English.

    Again – go fuck yourself – that means I am not interested in you, your opinion, or your bullshit ideas.

  44. He compared it to war. But thanks for showing us your idea of “reading comprehension.” Are all of the MAGA-its that bright?

  45. Wtf are you talking about? What did he compare to war? Are you really that dumb?

    The term “nobody” makes it an absolute. The context makes it absurd. You need to learn to read, moron.

  46. Awwwww poor little snowflake. You think cursing at someone on the internet makes you win the argument. One day you may grow up and see your little tantrums as funny as I do. I doubt you ever achieve such self awareness though, you appear to be quite daft.

  47. Awwww snowflake hurt my feelings!! Sniff, sniff. Mean man said bad words!!!

    You’re really pathetic.

  48. You’re real original there junior. Better get off the computer before mom comes down into the basement!

  49. Aewew poor Riley must be lonely. You not getting out of the basement Eric? Need to get out and get more sunlight!

  50. Poor little Eric. I imagine life must suck pretty bad to lose any semblance of originality like that. I’ll pray for you, poor boy.

  51. Awwww poor little guy just can’t come up with anything original. Sad thing is you can’t even see it’s YOU being the troll here. Poor little fella. Maybe move out of moms basement?

  52. I appreciate your efforts, you aren’t deluded. But I have to say that it’s nothing to do with writing styles etc.

    It’s right there in the graph. It says clear as day: ‘deaths caused by lack of health insurance’

    If everyone had health insurance, then there’d be no deaths caused LACK OF IT.

    There will of course be deaths caused by illness or accidents. But the flat red line at 0 is correct for what it represents.

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