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Expanding Medicaid Led to More ER Visits

Expanding Medicaid Led to More ER Visits
Posted January 3rd, 2014 @ 10:19am by Kevin Spak, Newser Staff

(NEWSER– One of the favorite arguments of Affordable Care Act supporters has long been that the newly-insured poor will use primary care doctors more and expensive emergency room services less, saving the government money. But a new Harvard study totally contradicts that claim. Researchers looked at Oregon's partial 2008 Medicaid expansion, and discovered that those who got coverage (via a lottery) used all health services more, emergency care decidedly included, the Washington Postreports. The covered visited the ER 1.43 times over the study's period, compared to 1.02 times for those who entered the lottery but didn't get coverage; that's a 40% bump.

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