Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Along the Oregon Trail

As we noted Monday, "you are more likely to die if you are on government insurance than if you have no insurance at all." And, of course, Oregon's health care "system" is an exemplar of this result.

Well, Cato's Michael Cannon reports on a yearlong experiment on Beaver State citizens, and the results aren't pretty:

"Oregon decided to enroll an additional 10,000 people in its Medicaid program via lottery ... Medicaid coverage led to higher medical consumption."

No surprise there: make pretty much anything freely available at low (or no) cost, and odds are you're going to have a lot of customers.

But is "free" health care worth what you pay for it?

You be the judge:

"Though the president has claimed [ObamaCrap] will “save lives,” the [Oregon Health Insurance Experiment] detected no evidence that extending Medicaid to 10,000 adults did so in the first year."

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? Michael also points out - and this is important - that "the OHIE extended coverage to the most vulnerable population of uninsured Americans, yet the improvements in health and financial security are so far apparently modest."

Talk about damning with faint praise.

Barbara Wagner was unavailable for comment.
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