PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle) – Medicaid might not be better than being uninsured after all.

An Ore. study that previously found that Medicaid was more beneficial than being uninsured released new data indicating that Medicaid “generated no significant improvement in measured physical health outcomes.” The study questions the effectiveness of the $450 billion spent annually on Medicaid.

In two years’ worth of data following the Medicaid expansion of 2008, the Oregon Health Study Group obtained data from 6,387 adults who were randomly selected to be able to apply for Medicaid coverage. Of those 6,300-plus adults, 5,842 were not selected.

The biggest losers in the expansion of Medicaid have been those with hypertension of high cholesterol levels, according to the study.

“We found no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions,” the researchers said in the study.

Medicaid did have some positive effects. The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that Medicaid increased use of health care services, raised rates of diabetes detection and management, lowered rates of depression, and reduced financial strain.


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