Study Finds Benefits in Expanding Public Health Coverage

Posted on July 8, 2011

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On March 22, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.

In 2014, the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act will allow for additional health coverage for low-income adults.  Thousands of adults in all fifty states will have access to significant health services that can work to cure, treat, and prevent a variety of medical ailments.

The benefits of more people having access to affordable health care have been documented in a recent study conducted by Professor Katherine Baicker of the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor Amy Finklestein of MIT.  In 2008, when 10,000 uninsured adults in Oregon were randomly selected to receive Medicaid, their health and well being significantly improved relative to their 80,000 uninsured adult counterparts.

A year later, hospitals saw an increase of 30% in its admissions, with preventive measures such as mammograms and cholesterol monitoring raising by 60% and 20% respectively.  Those receiving Medicaid were more likely to visit a regular doctor than those who were uninsured, and more likely to report being in excellent health conditions.

In concert with an overall feeling of well being, the expansion of health care coverage has enabled adults to better preserve their finances.  In a news release, Finklestein said that insured adults were “less likely to borrow money or go into debt to pay for their care.”  40% less likely than the uninsured, the study confirms.

The National Bureau for Economic Research published the findings of this study on July 7.  For more information about the study please visit this website:   http://www.nber.org/papers/w17190

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/insurance/articles/2011/07/07/medicaid-coverage-substantially-improves-access-to-care-study

If you would like more information about the Affordable Care Act, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/healthcare-overview

If you have any questions, please call the Mayor’s Health Line at (617)-534-5050

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