The Oregon Health Experiment has demonstrated that even people with a plan get sick and die.
A study about the relationship between health insurance coverage and actually being healthy was conducted in Oregon and showed that having a plan doesn’t necessarily guarantee wellness.
The project was lead by Amy Finkelstein, from MIT, and showed that the two are not the same.
Called the Oregon Health Experiment, the research indicated that while some people who have coverage live long and healthy lives, others get sick and die. It also determined that the same thing is true among those who do not have health insurance. The study results are being used by some who are opposed to the healthcare reforms, in order to suggest that they won’t help the health of the country.
However, there is an important distinction between health insurance and a lack of coverage.
Beyond being healthy, it is important to point out that health insurance doesn’t just make sure that people are healthy, but it assists individuals whose conditions are treatable to be able to obtain these treatments without facing financial devastation or having to decide between their own treatment and saving the future of their families.
This most recent health insurance experiment looked into the situation in Oregon in 2008, when there were only a few Medicaid spots available, and they were given out through a lottery. Those who received the coverage were tracked by researchers. The researchers also followed those who did not win the coverage, but who had similar characteristics as those who did.
This clinical trial used surveys in order to monitor the health and the financial wellbeing of the two groups. The first results of the study were released last year, but the second year of data has now been published. What it has shown so far is that there weren’t very many differences in health between the two groups. That said, in terms of the long term benefit of having health insurance on both medical and financial wellbeing, the researchers from the study say that it is far too early to be able to tell.