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Does Publicly Provided Health Insurance Improve the Health of Low-Income Children in the United States

  • Robert Kaestner
  • Theodore Joyce
  • Andrew Racine

In this study we analyze the effect of Medicaid on children's heath. We examine the effect of Medicaid on a variety of health outcomes using two data sources: the National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) of hospital discharges. Using the NHIS, we examine the effect of Medicaid participation on maternal ratings of child health and maternal reports of the number of bed days in the past year (i.e. morbidity). The NIS data was used to examine the effect of Medicaid program expansions on the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive (ACS) discharges. ACS discharges are known to be sensitive to medical intervention and are objective measures of children's health. The results of this paper provide at best weak support for the hypothesis that Medicaid improves the health of low-income children.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6887.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6887.

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Date of creation: Jan 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6887
Note: CH HE
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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. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1995. "Medical Care for Children: Public Insurance, Private Insurance, and Racial Differences in Utilization," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 135-162.
  3. Esel Y. Yazici & Robert Kaestner, 1998. "Medicaid Expansions and The Crowding Out of Private Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1.
  5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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