Yale University Researcher: Oregon Medicaid Expansion Study Results Do Not Apply To Everyone

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

The 2013 study in Oregon showing that Medicaid expansion increased visits in the ER was not agreed upon by a health economist in Yale University.

Recently, a new paper was published by Amanda Kowalski, a health economist in Yale University, saying that Emergency Room visits are reduced by the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The results contradicts the previous research findings that shows an increase in the ER in Oregon. Kowalski said that the findings could have been lower than the figures assumed by the experts and policymakers, Yale News reported.

Amanda Kowalski is an economics associate professor at Yale University. She was also a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The Medicaid expansion, which is implemented through the Affordable Care Act, is an insurance program designed to help the poor. The recipients of this programs are the people that make up the poverty level. Supreme Court did not require the expansion to the states but instead made it optional. There are only 28 states that tried to do the expansion. Some states, which includes Virginia and Texas, are against the Medicaid expansion. The reasons why these states are against it because the leaders fear that the expansion will increase the
Medicaid enrollees dramatically and strain the medical services. They also fear that this will drive the medical costs up, The Atlantic reported.

Oregon implemented a limited Medicaid expansion in 2008 using lottery. The study conducted in 2013 showed people who was enrolled in the insurance are 0.3 more likely to visit the ER.

Kowalski, however, took a closer look at the results and found out that the results do not "do not necessarily apply" to other participants of the lottery.

The researcher said that experiments are very simple that it is deceptive. Experts overlooked richer information available. Furthermore, she added that taking a closer look would help in understanding whether the results apply to everyone or not.

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