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Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed

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  • Thomas C. Buchmueller
  • Helen G. Levy
  • Robert G. Valletta

Abstract

We examine how a key provision of the Affordable Care Act--the expansion of Medicaid eligibility--affected health insurance coverage, access to care, and labor market transitions of unemployed workers. Comparing trends in states that implemented the Medicaid expansion to those that did not, we find that the ACA Medicaid expansion substantially increased insurance coverage and improved access to health care among unemployed workers. We then test whether this strengthening of the safety net affected transitions from unemployment to employment or out of the labor force. We find no meaningful statistical evidence in support of moral hazard effects that reduce job finding or labor force attachment.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas C. Buchmueller & Helen G. Levy & Robert G. Valletta, 2019. "Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed," NBER Working Papers 26553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26553
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    Cited by:

    1. David J. G. Slusky & Donna K. Ginther, 2021. "Did Medicaid expansion reduce medical divorce?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 1139-1174, December.
    2. Joseph Benitez & Kevin Callison & E. Kathleen Adams, 2024. "Joint effects of Medicaid eligibility and fees on recession‐linked declines in healthcare access and health status," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(7), pages 1426-1453, July.
    3. Hong Chen & Jia Yu & Mingshuai Qin & Yangyang Wang & Lijian Qin, 2023. "Unlocking Opportunities for Migrant Workers in China: Analyzing the Impact of Health Insurance on Hukou Switching Intentions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(8), pages 1-15, April.
    4. Mann, Samuel, 2021. "Transgender employment and gender marker laws," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    5. Maclean, Johanna Catherine & Webber, Douglas, 2022. "Government regulation and wages: Evidence from continuing coverage mandates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    6. Matt Hampton & Otto Lenhart, 2022. "The effect of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion on marriage," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(2), pages 568-591, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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