Thursday, May 02, 2013

Health Care Lottery

I thought this looked familiar:

"In 2008, Oregon expanded its Medicaid program, but because the state could not cover everybody, lawmakers opened up a lottery that randomly drew 30,000 names from a waiting list of almost 90,000 and allowed them to apply for the program. This created a unique opportunity for health researchers, ultimately allowing them to compare the health outcomes of 6,387 low-income adults who were able to enroll in the program with 5,842 who were not selected."

We actually covered this at the time:

"Oregon decided to enroll an additional 10,000 people in its Medicaid program via lottery ... Granted, one year is hardly long-term, but shouldn't there have been some indication of improved morbidity (if not mortality) even in the short-run?"

As it turns out, both Michael and we were correct:

"[R]esearchers found that those who enrolled in Medicaid spent a lot more on medical care than those who weren’t able to enroll, but didn’t significantly improve their health outcomes."


The problem, of course, is that taxpayers spent all this money and there's very little to show for it.

La plus ca change...

Oh - and lest we forget, Barbara Wagner is still unavailable for comment.
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