Expanding Health Insurance to Millions: Learning from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

State of Oregon had budget to register 10,000 individuals into Medicaid in 2008. But officials understood that interest in Medicaid would be far greater. To give a fair chance at receiving health insurance to all poor, uninsured Oregonians, the state established a lottery. For decades, evidence on the impacts of health insurance on health was dominated by observational studies, which offered replies that were inconclusive.

Under Oregon lottery, some people had at random chosen from a waiting list while others were not, for insurance, enabling comparison between the two groups, and in effect developing a randomized experiment. The Oregon health experiment, as it came to be known, would eventually give economists and policymakers rigorous evidence how access to health insurance changed use and the provision of health care, and ultimately, determined the health care and well-being of the citizenry. By 2016, as portion of Affordable Care Act and the Patient Protection, an estimated 25 million Americans were set to get 12 million under Medicaid, health insurance alone; driving home the requirement to find conclusive answers to these longstanding questions. Case amount 2019.0

PUBLICATION DATE: May 22, 2014 PRODUCT #: HKS799-PDF-ENG

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Expanding Health Insurance to Millions: Learning from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

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