The Doctor Might See You Now

That's the title of a new paper by Craig Garthwaite of Northwestern.  The abstract is this:

In the United States, public health insurance programs cover over 90 million individuals. Changes in the scope of these programs potentially can have large effects on physician behavior. This study finds that following the implementation of the State Children’s Health Insurance program, physicians decreased the number of hours spent with patients, but increased participation in the expanded program. Suggestive evidence is found that this decrease in hours was achieved through shorter office visits. These results are consistent with the predictions from a mixed economy model and provide evidence of the potential effects of recently passed public insurance expansions.

In other words, whether you favor ACA or not, the supply side constraints are starting to bite.


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