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Has public health insurance for older children reduced disparities in access to care and health outcomes?

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  • Currie, Janet
  • Decker, Sandra
  • Lin, Wanchuan

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of expanding public health insurance eligibility for older children. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 1986 to 2005, we first show that although income continues to be an important predictor of children's health status, the importance of income for predicting health has fallen for children 9-17 in recent years. We then investigate the extent to which the dramatic expansions in public health insurance coverage for these children in the past decade are responsible for the decline in the importance of income. We find that while eligibility for public health insurance unambiguously improves current utilization of preventive care, it has little effect on current health status. However, we find some evidence that Medicaid eligibility in early childhood has positive effects on future health. This may indicate that adequate medical care early on puts children on a better health trajectory, resulting in better health as they grow.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1567-1581

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:6:p:1567-1581

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Keywords: Medicaid Children's health;

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References

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  1. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anna Aizer & Jeffrey Grogger, 2003. "Parental Medicaid Expansions and Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Schenker, Nathaniel & Raghunathan, Trivellore E. & Chiu, Pei-Lu & Makuc, Diane M. & Zhang, Guangyu & Cohen, Alan J., 2006. "Multiple Imputation of Missing Income Data in the National Health Interview Survey," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 101, pages 924-933, September.
  5. Anthony T. LoSasso & Thomas C. Buchmueller, 2002. "The Effect of the State Children's Health Insurance Program on Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-96, December.
  7. Dafny, Leemore & Gruber, Jonathan, 2005. "Public insurance and child hospitalizations: access and efficiency effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 109-129, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Child Health," NBER Chapters, in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 77-119 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bruce D. Meyer & Laura R. Wherry, 2012. "Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility," NBER Working Papers 18309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chen, Yi & Lei, Xiaoyan & Zhou, Li-An, 2010. "Child Health and the Income Gradient: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 5182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne, 2013. "Socioeconomic Inequalities in Child Health in Ireland," Papers WP453, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  5. David Frisvold & Ezra Golberstein, 2010. "The Effect of School Quality on Black-White Health Differences: Evidence from Segregated Southern Schools," Emory Economics 1013, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne, 2013. "Income-Related Inequity in the Use of GP Services: A Comparison of Ireland and Scotland," Papers WP454, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Linda Dynan, 2009. "The Contribution of Economists to Understanding Racial Health Disparities in the US," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 37(3), pages 213-223, September.
  8. Michael Anderson & Carlos Dobkin & Tal Gross, 2012. "The Effect of Health Insurance Coverage on the Use of Medical Services," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, February.
  9. Anne Nolan & Richard Layte, 2014. "Socio-economic Inequalities in Child Health in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 25-64.
  10. Levine Phillip B & Schanzenbach Diane, 2009. "The Impact of Children's Public Health Insurance Expansions on Educational Outcomes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, May.
  11. de la Mata, D;, 2011. "The Effect of Medicaid on Children's Health: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/16, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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