When Oregon opened up a lottery in 2008 to add 10,000 uninsured adults to it's Medicaid roll, the Harvard School of Public Health co-authored a study to track those recipients and compare them to the 80,000 who did not make it into the lottery.
Healthcare has become a hot-button topic over President Obama's first four years. On March 23, 2010, President Obama sponsored and helped pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The new law, set to take effect in 2014, addresses the private health insurance market to provide better care for people with pre-existing conditions, improve prescription drug coverage through Medicare and extend the Medicare trust fund for another twelve years.
The bill passed the Senate 60-39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for the bill and all Republicans voting against it. The bill passed the House with a vote of 219-212. 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voted against it.
But that doesn't mean the PPACA is out of the woods yet. There have been five cases filed against it, questioning the constitutionality of such a bill. In the lower courts, three upheld it's constitutionality while two deemed it unconstitutional. The Supreme Court may review the law as early as the beginning of 2012.
GOPs are gearing up to ask for $1 trillion dollars in cuts to Medicaid over the next ten years. Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan made it clear that he will be targeting Medicaid and Medicare for spending cuts. Democrats say they are cutting funding for the neediest people, while Republicans argue they are reforming how states can use the federal money.
The small Oregon study, whose findings were released on Thursday, has weighed on the effect of access to doctors and medical care - it helps. The Medicaid lottery winners reported "better physical and mental health," were less likely to go into debt or skip paying other bills to pay medical bills, were more likely to follow doctors recommendations on preventative care, buy and use medication, and visit a clinic or doctor's office. The study plans to continue monitoring the recipients for another year to measure changes, if any, on cholesterol levels, obesity, and blood pressure.