The institute compared data from Medicaid expansions in the 1980s and 1990s and found children with access to Medicaid enjoyed better overall health as adults, lower rates of obesity, and had fewer catastrophic health needs. As adults, childhood Medicaid beneficiaries experienced a decline in high blood pressure as well as a decline in the number of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits. This saved the government millions in Medicaid costs, as ED visits and hospitalizations are significantly more expensive than visits to a physician’s office.
Childhood Medicaid also decreased the number of high school dropouts and increased college attendance, according to GUHPI. This higher educational attainment, combined with Medicaid’s protection against health care-related bankruptcy, meant that children on Medicaid have more economic mobility and economic success as adults.
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