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Study Finds Medicaid May Increase ER Visits and Spending

A new study published in Science casts doubt on the hope that expanding health care insurance will reduce the number of emergency room visits and emergency room spending, The New York Times reports. The study “compared thousands of low-income people in the Portland area who were randomly selected in a 2008 lottery to get Medicaid coverage with people who entered the lottery but remained uninsured.” Findings showed that those who received the coverage actually visited the emergency room up to 40% more than those who did not receive coverage. The findings “go against one of the central arguments of the law’s supporters, that extending insurance to large numbers of Americans would reduce emergency room use, and eventually save money.”

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the study published in Science.