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Did the Medicaid-Eligibility Expansions Increase the Reporting of Children's Health Problems? Evidence from the SIPP

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  • Elizabeth Powers

Abstract

Beginning around 1990, disability rates of children, as reported by their parents, began to increase. At the same time, a major expansion of Medicaid eligibility to children outside of the welfare population was taking place. Data from multiple panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation are used to estimate the influence of the expansion policy on parental reporting of children's activity limitations and the presence of specific conditions. There is little evidence that the expansions affected reporting for the targeted group of low-income children (those who would previously have been Medicaid-ineligible). However, the expansions appear to have positive and robust effects on the likelihood that certain limitations and conditions are reported for AFDC-receiving children. Given that welfare-receiving children have had access to free medical care since 1975, these findings present a puzzle. The remainder of the paper discusses a variety of explanations for these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Powers, 2002. "Did the Medicaid-Eligibility Expansions Increase the Reporting of Children's Health Problems? Evidence from the SIPP," JCPR Working Papers 270, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-466.
    2. Rebecca M. Blank, 1989. "The Effect of Medical Need and Medicaid on AFDC Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 54-87.
    3. Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Health Insurance for Poor Women and Children in the U.S.: Lessons from the Past Decade," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 11, pages 169-211 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Ham & Lara Dawn Shore-Sheppard, 2000. "The Effect of Medicaid Expansions for Low-Income Children on Medicaid Participation and Insurance Coverage: Evidence from the SIPP," JCPR Working Papers 164, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    5. Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-939.
    6. David Card & Lara Dawn Shore-Sheppard, 2001. "Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions," JCPR Working Papers 248, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    7. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
    8. Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Policy Watch: Medicaid and Uninsured Women and Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 199-208, Fall.
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