June 25, 2017

BEING PRO-LIFE:

Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women (Janet Currie, and Jonathan Gruber, December 1996, Journal of Political Economy )

A key question for health care reform in the United States is whether expanded health insurance eligibility will lead to improvements in health outcomes. We address this question in the context of the dramatic changes in Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women that took place between 1979 and 1992. We build a detailed simulation model of each state's Medicaid policy during this era and use this model to estimate (1) the effect of changes in the rules on the fraction of women eligible for Medicaid coverage in the event of pregnancy and (2) the effect of Medicaid eligibility changes on birth outcomes in aggregate Vital Statistics data. We have three main findings. First, the changes did dramatically increase the Medicaid eligibility of pregnant women, but did so at quite differential rates across the states. Second, the changes lowered the incidence of infant mortality and low birth weight; we estimate that the 30-percentage-point increase in eligibility among 15-44-year-old women was associated with a decrease in infant mortality of 8.5 percent. 

Paying for pregnancy and birth seems like something the two parties could agree on.
Posted by at June 25, 2017 11:11 AM

  

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