WASHINGTON, June 28 – Thousands of lives a year were saved yesterday [June 27] when President Donald Trump and Republicans were unable to secure the votes in the Senate they needed to pass their “health care” legislation. Yesterday, citing numerous scientific studies, PolitiFact confirmed what Sen.
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been saying throughout the debate over the bill: “When you throw 23 million people off of health insurance – people with cancer, people with heart disease, people with diabetes – thousands of people will die….This is study after study making this point.”
PolitiFact asked several authors of scientific papers whether they believe Sanders’ assertion of “thousands” of deaths is generally supported by the scholarly evidence.
“Thousands is completely fair,” said Stan Dorn, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute.
Katherine Baicker of Harvard University agreed. “It is of course difficult to pin down an exact number of deaths that would be caused by a specific new policy,” she said. “But a number like ‘thousands’ does not seem unreasonable, based on the available evidence.”
And Harvard professor Benjamin D. Sommers – whose work formed the indirect basis of the studies cited by Sanders – concurred.
“I agree that it’s challenging to pin down an exact number on this,” Sommers said. But overall, the academic evidence “certainly gets you into the range of thousands of deaths per year.”
“I understand that no Republican wants to see anyone in this country die unnecessarily, but that’s exactly what will happen to thousands of Americans a year if this horrendous legislation is passed,” Sanders said.
“We cannot throw 22 million Americans off of health insurance and not expect dire consequences. My hope is that the Republican leadership will examine these studies and junk their current bill. The goal of health care legislation should be to ease suffering and save lives, not see thousands of Americans a year die unnecessarily,” he pointed out.