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Did ObamaCare Contribute To The Shocking 2-Year Drop In Life Expectancy? | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Health Care: For the second year in a row, the average life expectancy for Americans declined, and the sharp increase in opioid overdose in recent years is largely to blame. But what fueled the opioid crisis?

X The latest report on death rates from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that life expectancy at birth dropped to 78.6 years, a decline of 0.3 years over the past two years. That is virtually unprecedented in modern times.

But there’s more. Life expectancy is almost exactly where it was in 2009, which means that the country has made almost no progress in seven years. That, too, is highly unusual. In the seven years before 2009, for example, life expectancy at birth climbed by 1½ years.

The current decline is said to be due to the opioid epidemic, which has produced a rapid increase in overdose deaths.

But what’s driving the opioid epidemic?

This is where things get interesting. Last year, Time magazine reported that ObamaCare was at least partly to blame. Under ObamaCare, Medicare payments to hospitals are conditioned in part on a patient satisfaction survey, which included questions on pain management. That, in turn, health officials said, created an incentive for hospitals to overprescribe opioids.

In recognition of this problem, Obama removed pain management from the questionnaire in late 2016.


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If that misguided policy wasn’t a driving force, there is clearly a correlation between ObamaCare and the opioid crisis. Overdose data from the CDC show a sharp spike in the trend in non-heroin opioid overdoses starting precisely in 2014 — the very year ObamaCare went into effect.

What’s more, there’s evidence to suggest that opioid deaths increased faster in states that expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare than those states that didn’t.

So, it’s at least possible that ObamaCare, by expanding access to prescription drugs and pushing hospitals to prescribe them, helped fuel the current epidemic. And in doing so, it helped to shorten life expectancy. That would be supremely ironic.

At the very least, the data show that expanding insurance and health outcomes aren’t as closely linked as ObamaCare advocates claim. Otherwise, life expectancy would have risen along with the gains in coverage.

As we have noted before, lifestyle choices — driving habits, drug use, crime, obesity — matter as much, if not more, than insurance when it comes to overall  health. So, too, does economic prosperity, of which we have seen precious little since 2009.

Had the government devoted all that ObamaCare money to things like drug prevention and pro-growth economic policies instead, maybe life expectancy in this country would still be climbing.

RELATED:

Proof That Those International Health Care Comparisons Are Bogus

ObamaCare Is Fueling America’s Opioid Epidemic?!

Who Says We Spend ‘Too Much’ On Health Care?


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