Health care is for sick people.

New results from a landmark study, released on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, go a long way toward answering those questions. The study, called the Oregon Health Study, compares thousands of low-income people in Oregon who received access to Medicaid with an identical population that did not.

It found that those who gained Medicaid coverage spent more on health care, making more visits to doctors and trips to the hospital. But the study suggests that Medicaid coverage did not make those adults much healthier, at least within the two-year time frame of the research, judging by their blood pressure, blood sugar and other measures. It did, however, substantially reduce the incidence of depression, and it made them vastly more financially secure.

Via Marginal Revolution

In summary, a study of Medicaid recipients found that socialized medicine resulted in people using more socialized medicine without getting any healthier.

I could have told them this and I wouldn't even need a federal grant. Health care is for sick people. Wellness means eat a balanced diet, exercise, don’t smoke and drink in moderation if at all. Obamacare will be a money pit that does nothing to improve public health.


Visibilium said…
Christ is risen!

Policy makers are constantly tinkering with societal time preferences. Preventative medicine is simply a time preference calculation in which one pays now for nutrition, supplements, medical advice, and abstention from bad habits to prevent future negative health issues, which have both qualitative and financial components. High time preference folks disvalue future quality of life issues, by definition. Defraying the cost of future medical intervention removes the remaining financial incentive to exercise foresight.
David Sager said…
I really can't improve much on Visiblium's comments. Well said.

Once again, government subsidizes high time preference with the savings and industry of the low time preference.
Anonymous said…
Actually, the most important element in being healthy is having excellent early childhood medical care and nutrition. It also helps if one's mother had excellent pre-natal health care and nutrition. The better one has these in childhood, the better one will have good health in later life.

Opponents of universal health care should look at this and not what people do in their later life.
Opponents of universal health care should look at this and not what people do in their later life.

We've already got that problem licked. There are some pretty impressive physical specimens growing up poor and reliant on Medicaid. A not insubstantial number become professional athletes.

Gestation lasts 9 months; childhood lasts around 13 years. That leaves 50+ years to sit around, smoke and eat junk food.