Does Health Insurance Improve Health? Evidence from Massachusetts

massachusettsIt is always important to remember that healthcare and health insurance are two very different things, and neither of them is a guarantee of good health. Therefore, when people talk about Obamacare providing people with medical care, we have to remember that it primarily provides people with health care insurance. And as I have written about previously, insurance coverage does not guarantee the receipt of quality healthcare, with many Medicaid recipients having a hard time finding doctors willing to see them.

Now comes a new study from Massachusetts, exploring whether expansion of health insurance within that state through Romneycare has improved the health of that state’s citizens. In the study, the researchers conducted a before/after look at the health of people in Massachusetts. The idea here is that if people’s health improves after they receive insurance coverage, that could result from the receipt of such coverage. Recognizing that other factors could also affect the health of people over time, the researchers also conducted a before/after look at other states in New England. The main idea here is simple: if over the same period of time, people in Massachusetts experience improvements in their health relative to their neighbors, we have evidence suggesting that the expansion of health insurance in Massachusetts benefited its citizens.

The answer? Across a number of measures, the researchers found relative improvements in the health of people in Massachusetts… (Read more and view comments at Forbes)

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