Saturday, July 9, 2011

Two quick comments on the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

I’ll have more to say about the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (OHIE) in another venue. (Until then, Naomi FreundlichJonathan CohnEzra KleinGina KolataAustin Frakt, and Aaron Carroll have the study well covered. I envy the unique and timely access, opportunity, and the simple craftsmanship of this experiment. Hats off to the entire OHIE study team.)

For the moment, I want to address one bad argument and one good argument made by conservatives in response to OHIE’s strong findings which document the value of Medicaid coverage for so many people.

Oh–one more thing about misguided talking points. After reading the OHIE results, can liberals please stop claiming that covering the uninsured will reduce emergency department use? Can conservatives please stop claiming that health insurance doesn’t improve health? Deal?


  1. How strong is the link between self-reported and more objective measures of health?

  2. Good question.

    There is a large literature indicating that self-reported health status has surprising predictive power for mortality and other outcomes, even alongside objective measures. It's sometimes called the SF-1.