Oregon’s experiment with forcing more of its residents onto Medicaid as a means of lowering the number of emergency room visits and the expense incurred by them has proven to be an abject failure, but the socialist designers of the system have long know that would be the case.
As NPR reports, a study published online by the New England Journal of Medicine found that Medicaid patients in Oregon who were enrolled in the program in 2008 found their use of emergency rooms as ‘primary care’ facilities remained high, even though they also boosted their visits to regular doctor’s offices.
All eyes have been on Oregon to answer this question about ER use because, eight years ago, the state tried an experiment. It wanted to expand Medicaid, but it didn’t have the money to cover every eligible resident.
So it held a lottery to give coverage to as many people as possible, in the fairest way possible. The result was something of a gift to researchers like Bill Wright, director of the Providence Center for Outcomes Research and Education.
“You couldn’t do this as a researcher,” Wright says. You couldn’t design a study that randomly gave some people insurance, but not others. It wouldn’t be ethical to leave some people without coverage just to have a control group.
“As a researcher,” Wright says, “you don’t want to put someone in that position, just to study it.”
NPR noted further:
It was the first randomized study on the impacts of health insurance, and it’s one of the largest, surveying about 25,000 people.
The study’s first findings, published a few years ago, showed that Medicaid was beneficial in many ways. It improved people’s financial security. They went to the doctor when they were sick. And having the insurance correlated with a drop in rates of depression.
Read the rest at: Socialized Fail