Medical Insurance Helps People Feel Better!?

On the one hand, it’s good to have actual research backing this up.  On the other hand, it’s insane that this didn’t exist before.  From the NY Times:

When poor people are given medical insurance, they not only find regular doctors and see doctors more often but they also feel better, are less depressed and are better able to maintain financial stability, according to a new, large-scale study that provides the first rigorously controlled assessment of the impact of Medicaid.

In other news, water is wet?  Not quite.

The study became possible because of an unusual situation in Oregon. In 2008, the state wanted to expand its Medicaid program to include more uninsured people but could afford to add only 10,000 to its rolls. Yet nearly 90,000 applied. Oregon decided to select the 10,000 by lottery.

Economists were electrified. Here was their chance to compare those who got insurance with those who were randomly assigned to go without it. No one had ever done anything like that before, in part because it would be considered unethical to devise a study that would explicitly deny some people coverage while giving it to others.

But this situation was perfect for assessing the impact of Medicaid, said Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Baicker and Amy Finkelstein, professor of economics at M.I.T., are the principal investigators for the study.

In good news, Oregon did end up finding the money to insure the other 80,000 people within 2 years.

4 thoughts on “Medical Insurance Helps People Feel Better!?

  1. My first thought consisted of the words ‘No’, ‘Sh*t’, and ‘Sherlock’ in that order.

    Yay! for Oregon, finding the money to insure everybody who needed and wanted it! Forty-nine states to go.

  2. I love when I see something I say often backed up by actual facts and scenarios. Ha-ha! Yes! And even though my husband and I have insurance, we can’t afford to use it. It’s so nuts it’s so wrong and it is reality.

  3. Did it really? I tried to apply for (Oregon) state health insurance earlier this year and was told people were chosen at random. Maybe this is just talking about Medicaid alone…

    But yeah, imagine that! Better health cuz of the ability to see doctors?! WTF? NO WAY! Better financial stability when not being bogged down by thousands of dollars in medical bills?! GET OUT OF TOWN! WHERE DID YOU HEAR THIS?!

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