Some noteworthy news from the past two years is that the American life expectancy is in decline. Despite the promises that Obamacare would fix the health system and lead to a perfect Utopia, we’re seeing that American’s are worse off since it was signed into law. Now, correlation does not imply causation, so we have to ask the tough question: Is Obamacare responsible for this change? Let’s take a deeper look and find out.
Before we can connect the dots, we first have to understand the trends in life expectancy. The Society of Actuaries keeps a close watch on these numbers, primarily because they are the people who create the models used by insurance and pension groups to analyze and predict costs, and they are the definitive resource for this type of data. Their calculations have shown that the life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the first time in many decades in 2015.
Before we go farther, it’s probably worth understanding a little more about life expectancy. Currently, the nation’s number for men is roughly 76 years, while the number for women is 81.
These are based on the average lifespan of an American from birth, but since tragedy still happens even to the young, the numbers change if you consider a few factors. If an American makes it to 25, lifespan expectancy jumps to 86.9 and 89.5 for men and women respectively. At 75 years of age, the expectancy climbs to 87.9 for men and 89.4 for women.
The takeaway is that unexpected deaths (like from car accidents) play a major role in the calculations, but as one gets older it is increasingly likely that poor health will be the primary factor in lifespan. It’s also important to note that the expectancy decline applies to all age groups, and the change is pretty static among those groups. We’ll come back to this in a minute.
You can’t look at life expectancy without discussing death rates. From 2000 to 2009, death rates in the U.S. improved by roughly 1.5 percent each year (meaning the number of deaths per capita got lower every year).
Obamacare was signed in 2010, and the first preliminary effects hit. Coincidentally, that was the year that death rate improvements saw their first noticeable change in a decade, and while the rates still dropped, they dropped to an improvement of only 0.42 percent. In other words, death rates across the country spiked by a factor of three that year.
At this point, it would still be premature to place the blame on Obamacare. A few other key factors have to come into play. First, remember that Obamacare hit full effect in 2014. It was 2015 that saw the first fully negative change in death rates, and the change was uniform for all age groups.
During that same span, death rates related to firearms, crime and car accidents all continued their downward trends. On top of that, war-related deaths for Americans dropped nearly to zero. That means the entire change was related to health problems and health care.
Simply put, sweeping change to the healthcare system had an immediate and noticeable impact. It’s also worth noting that these changes were predicted by medical professionals as early as 2012. Now that we’ve built the case, let’s get into the how and why of it all.
The Impact of Obamacare
Obamacare hasn’t been in full effect for very long, so sweeping and conclusive studies are still out of reach. It is inevitable to make any claims without resorting to at least some speculation, but there is also no denying that sudden and seemingly unexpected large-scale changes in death rates and life expectancy happened in a time frame where the only major cause was the implementation of Obamacare.
At this point, it’s far and away the most likely cause. The question is: why?
There are a large number of ways Obamacare has hurt the health of Americans. It starts with the increased cost. Despite more Americans being insured, health care is more expensive for everyone, even those who were uninsured just a few years ago.
This mostly ties into dramatically increasing premiums and a huge shift to high-deductible plans. If you’re paying more out of pocket for your insurance than you used to and it covers less, you won’t be able to afford as much preventative care, and this is exactly what has happened to Americans who aren’t covered by Medicaid or Medicare.
The other big cost rise comes from the increased demand on the entire healthcare system. Since more people are visiting hospitals and doctors, the cost of everything rises, regardless of your insurance plan. Other potential causes are the increased difficulties of finding in-network care, and the employer requirements that have pushed millions of Americans into part-time work.
While it’s still early to say which of these factors has the largest impact, it’s not too soon to say that the culmination of changes is inescapably linked to the decline in health care effectiveness and the increased death rates. The numbers can’t lie, and Obamacare is killing Americans.
~ Facts Not Memes