Early Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access, Risky Health Behaviors, and Self-Assessed Health

Charles Courtemanche, James Marton, Benjamin Ukert, Aaron Yelowitz, Daniela Zapata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to achieve nearly universal health insurance coverage through a combination of mandates, subsidies, marketplaces, and Medicaid expansions, most of which took effect in 2014. We use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the impacts of the ACA on health care access, risky health behaviors, and self-assessed health after two years. We estimate difference-in-difference-in-differences models that exploit variation in treatment intensity from state participation in the Medicaid expansion and pre-ACA uninsured rates. Results suggest that the ACA led to sizeable improvements in access to health care in both Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states, with the gains being larger in expansion states along some dimensions. However, we do not find clear effects on risky behaviors or self-assessed health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-691
Number of pages32
JournalSouthern Economic Journal
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the Southern Economic Association

Keywords

  • I12
  • I13
  • I18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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