This is a no-brainer. It is like saying food stamps will make people wealthy.
It's not too surprising that in a short term study that behavior of
patients wouldn't change drastically. If anyone expects things to change
over night, they're either unreasonable or have an interest in the policy
failing.I don't think anyone said that just having access to
healthcare was the be-all, end-all solution for all health problems.
There's no question that lifestyle choices is a significant factor, as
well. NPR interviewed an ER physician who split his practice between
Los Angeles and Honolulu and noted the difference in how ERs are used by the two
different sets of citizens. In LA people use the ER for primary care, in Hawaii
nearly everyone has a primary care physician. A key difference is the Hawaiian
State requirement for employers providing health insurance has been in place for
an extended period of time.
80 million Americans are denying themselves some sort of portion of health care,
be it doctors visits or medications, because they can't afford it. This
doesn't improve health outcomes either. We need a single payer system.