Magazine April 19, 2010, Issue

Hardly Healthier

A stethoscope rests on a container of hand sanitizer inside of the doctor’s office of One Medical Group in New York March 17, 2010. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The evidence does not establish that expanding insurance coverage improves health outcomes

Just before the House of Representatives voted to enact Obamacare, Speaker Nancy Pelosi triumphantly proclaimed, “This legislation will lead to healthier lives.” Democrats and liberal pundits have clung to that belief with near-religious fervor. But is there strong empirical evidence that expanding health insurance significantly improves health outcomes?

The answer, according to a scrupulous review of the literature by health economists Helen Levy and David Meltzer, is no. Despite years of research, the question of whether health insurance has a substantial impact on health “remains largely unanswered at the level of detail needed to inform policy decisions,” they wrote in a

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Finding Hassett’s premise unsatisfactory regarding racial differences in layoff rates.
The Week

The Week

During the eight years of George W. Bush, we heard constantly that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.


The Latest

A Revolt in Cuba

A Revolt in Cuba

Last month, thousands of Cubans poured into the streets, daring to protest the government that has ruled them for 60-plus years.