“New NCHS report shows life expectancy declined in all 50 states and DC in 2020” – National Center for Health Statistics tweet
Life expectancy didn’t just “decline.” Per woke medical news site Medpage Today, it “plummet(ed).” By nearly two years, a gobsmacking statistic.
This commentator knows what you’re thinking. NBC News beat us to it: “The main reason for the decline, of course, was Covid-19.”
Except … expectancy was already flat or down six times between 2012 and 2021. After steadily rising for generations.
Hmmm. Your correspondent is hardly the first to connect these dots, but guess what else changed in Health Care World in the early 2010s? Hint: starts with “O” and ends with “care.”
University of Colorado Boulder professor Ryan Masters, author of a previous life expectancy study (spoiler alert: lifespans dropped further in 2021) noted: “(H)igh rates of obesity and heart disease, along with inequities in access to health care, were already leading the U.S. to lose ground with respect to health and survival before the pandemic. ‘Those same factors made the U.S. more vulnerable … to the mortality consequences of COVID-19.’”
But wait. Wasn’t “Improving Health for All Americans” the promise of the massive sectoral overhaul that is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Doesn’t “Improving Health” presumably include “obesity and heart disease,” two leading health challenges?
And wasn’t Obamacare’s selling point to eliminate “inequities” and “make quality, affordable health care not a privilege, but a right?” Leading then-veep Joe Biden to declare its signing, over a hot mic, to be a “big f—ing deal?”
“Big f—ing deal,” indeed. A big failing deal, by the measure that matters: outcomes.
Obamacare’s dirty secret: much of increasing access was about exploding eligibility for Medicaid, even as exchange signups stalled – and those with existing coverage experienced rampant underinsurance due to rising costs. With the pandemic, floodgates for both Medicaid and the exchanges were opened in a “stealth health insurance takeover,” per the Wall Street Journal.
And though much of the biased research community insists Medicaid expansion improves outcomes, it knows better. A controlled, randomized Oregon study following an earlier expansion showed Medicaid had “no effect on measures of physical health including” … wait for it … “pulse, obesity, or blood markers of chronic inflammation.”
Moreover, Gallup finds just three in 10 adult Medicaid recipients describe their health as “excellent” or “very good” – again, fewer than the uninsured. Amid the happy talk, progressive outfits such as the Commonwealth Fund admit that “low reimbursement rates” – another study primarily blames billing hassles – “limit access to quality care and contribute to poor health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries” (emphasis added).
Yeah, “experts” say, because Medicaid serves populations with the biggest chronic health problems and the least access to care. Yo: again, that’s exactly the problem Obamacare was passed to address – and trillions of dollars later, has not. Remember? America, pre-pandemic, was losing ground to chronic disease.
Meanwhile, let’s indulge the failing, flailing federal health care baloney-aucracy in the notion that COVID presented a generational challenge to life expectancy. Shouldn’t public health authorities – also including the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration – have been marshaling resources to protect vulnerable folks, while providing reliable information for others to use our best judgment?
“Of course” not. Why pass up the opportunity to politicize “The Science” for a Great Reset that left huge swaths of America isolated and dependent on the Nanny State while monstrously increasing its size and scope? And to claim virtually untrammeled power based on obscure statutory provisions – not just lockdowns but also rent moratoria and mandates of masks and vaccines? Which, as Alex Berenson’s continued excellent coverage reveals, appear to be making recipients more vulnerable to infection and disease? (The jab fiasco/coverup should be sufficient in and of itself to disqualify anyone involved from government service to infinity and beyond.)
All of which did zilch to protect the public while ushering in economic catastrophe, a mental health crisis, increased spousal abuse, delayed child development, educational losses and lost preventive care that devastated the very cohorts power-mad Deep Staters claim to protect.
This, by the way, right after FDA and the CDC conspired with turf-protecting tobacco control lobbies (whose funding disappears if the problem is ever actually solved) to drop kick away vapes’ budding success in virtually eliminating truly deadly cigarette smoking. Right before the hapless FDA single-handedly manufactured a formula shortage putting thousands of babies at risk. And don’t forget FDA’s role in generating – and Medicaid’s in financing – the opioid crisis also sapping life expectancy.
All intensified by a health insurance tax exclusion that distorts markets and led to the rise of middlemen determined to deny, not deliver care.
One could go on and on – for example, the “public health” community’s promotion of riots and support for “gender-affirming care” that sterilizes and mutilates healthy teenagers. But one thing is clear: The federal health care monolith has lost America’s trust and even trust in itself.
The whole “big failing deal” must be torn down to the ground, piece-by-piece. And replaced by dispassionate, decentralized, professional and preferably privatized entities. Our (longer) lives depend on it.
Bob Maistros is a messaging and communications strategist, crisis specialist and former political speechwriter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.