WASHINGTON — As the health care law expands Medicaid to cover millions more Americans, a new Harvard University study finds that enrollment in the public program significantly increases enrollees’ use of emergency departments.
The research, published Thursday in the journal Science, showed a 40 percent increase in emergency department visits among those low-income adults in Oregon who gained Medicaid coverage in 2008 through a state lottery. This runs counter to some health-care law supporters’ hope that Medicaid coverage would decrease this type of costly medical care, by making it easier for low income adults to see primary care providers.
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