Does Universal Coverage Improve Health? The Massachusetts Experience
AbstractIn 2006, Massachusetts passed health care reform legislation designed to achieve nearly universal coverage through a combination of insurance market reforms, mandates, and subsidies that later served as the model for national reform. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we provide evidence that health care reform in Massachusetts led to better overall self-assessed health. Various robustness checks and placebo tests support a causal interpretation of the results. We also document improvements in several determinants of overall health: physical health, mental health, functional limitations, joint disorders, and body mass index. Next, we show that the effects on overall health were strongest among those with low incomes, non-whites, near-elderly adults, and women. Finally, we use the reform to instrument for health insurance and estimate a sizeable impact of coverage on health.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17893.
Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2012-03-14 (Health Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2012-03-14 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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- Naoki Aizawa & Hanming Fang, 2013. "Equilibrium Labor Market Search and Health Insurance Reform," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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