August 9, 2016

EVIDENCE MEANS THINGS:

Obamacare Appears to Be Making People Healthier (Margot Sanger-Katz, AUG. 9, 2016, NY Times)

Wanda Morrison, 61, of Louisville, Ky., with her physician, Dr. Kimberley Brumleve, at the Family Health Center in Louisville in November 2015. CreditBrittany Greeson for The New York Times
Obamacare has provided health insurance to some 20 million people. But are they any better off?

This has been the central question as we've been watching the complex and expensive health law unfurl. We knew the law was giving people coverage, but information about whether it's protecting people from debt or helping them become more healthy has been slower to emerge.

A few recent studies suggest that people have become less likely to have medical debt or to postpone care because of cost. They are also more likely to have a regular doctor and to be getting preventive health services like vaccines and cancer screenings. A new study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, offers another way of looking at the issue. Low-income people in Arkansas and Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid insurance to everyone below a certain income threshold, appear to be healthier than their peers in Texas, which did not expand.

The study took advantage of what Dr. Benjamin Sommers, an author of the paper and an assistant professor of health policy and economics at Harvard, called "a huge natural experiment."

Posted by at August 9, 2016 12:55 PM

  

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