Three Essays on Health Policy and Mortality
The foundation of the health safety net in the U.S. was established by policies enacted in the 1960s, yet most research that evaluates its effects on health relies on smaller policy changes starting in the 1980s. Public insurance for poor families, called Medicaid, and low-cost public clinics, called Community Health Centers, have grown since their inception and today serve more than 60 million people. The initial implementation of these programs offers a unique opportunity to expand and improve on existing estimates of their effects on health and health care use and to estimate longer-run effects of major health policy reforms. My dissertation combines data on mortality rates and health expenditures since the 1950s with newly-compiled historical data to quantify the health policy reforms of the 1960s and estimate the effect of the implementation of public health programs for poor families on health and health care spending.
Funding Period: 11/01/2012 to 12/31/2013