New Study: The Effect of Large-scale Health Coverage Expansions in Wealthy Nations on Society-Wide Healthcare Utilization

Our third paper examining how universal coverage affects the society-wide use of healthcare — a question with big implications for predicting the cost of Medicare-for-All — was just published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Co-authored with Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, this is a review of 13 universal coverage expansions taking place in 11 nations over 8 decades, beginning with the 1938 New Zealand Social Security Act and extending to the 2014 implementation of the ACA. We find that these expansions led to modest, and in some cases no, society-wide increase in utilization, even as they redirected care to those who needed it. Medicare for All is likely more affordable than previously predicted.