Washington, D.C. — A new column from the Center for American Progress and Harvard University researchers estimates an increase in deaths in the range of 18,000 to 27,700 by 2026 resulting from coverage reductions under the newly released Senate Republican health care repeal bill.
Recent studies of the effects of insurance coverage on mortality confirm that health care coverage has an impact on whether Americans live or die. The column provides estimates of additional deaths under the Senate bill by state.
“There is a growing body of literature that demonstrates the life-and-death impacts of this bill. We designed our approach using the most rigorous studies to calculate data-derived estimates,” said Ann Crawford-Roberts, a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and graduate of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “As health policy researchers, we were compelled to bring this evidence to bear on the current policy debate.”
“This data should make senators stop and think whether it’s worth stripping millions of people of their health care coverage, putting their very lives at risk, in order to provide tax breaks to the wealthy, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers,” said Sam Berger, senior policy adviser at the Center for American Progress. “There’s still time for the Senate to abandon this terrible bill and focus on commonsense solutions to improve the health care system for everyone.”
Using estimates of mortality rates from Massachusetts’ experience with health reform, CAP estimates the number of additional deaths resulting from coverage reductions from the Senate bill under three scenarios: one scenario in which coverage reductions from the Senate bill are the same as under the House version and two scenarios in which those coverage reductions are modestly reduced by differences from the House bill.
- Assuming that 15 million fewer people would have coverage in 2026, CAP estimates that the coverage reductions from the Senate bill would result in 18,100 additional deaths in 2026.
- Assuming that 19 million fewer people would have coverage, CAP estimates that the coverage reductions from the Senate bill would result in 22,900 additional deaths in 2026.
- Assuming that 23 million fewer people would have coverage, CAP estimates that the coverage reductions from the Senate bill would result in 27,700 additional deaths in 2026. If coverage reductions from the Senate bill matched those from the House bill, it would result in 217,000 additional deaths over the next decade.
To put this in perspective, 27,700 deaths would be approximately the number of people in the United States who died from opioid overdoses in 2014 and about twice the number of deaths by homicide that same year.
Read “Coverage Losses Under the Senate Health Care Bill Could Result in 18,100 to 27,700 Additional Deaths in 2026” by Ann Crawford-Roberts, Nichole Roxas, Ichiro Kawachi, Sam Berger, and Emily Gee.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Devon Kearns at 202.741.6290 or gro.ssergorpnacirema@snraekd.