The War on Poverty&Apos;S Experiment in Public Medicine: Community Health Centers and the Mortality of Older Americans

52 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2014 Last revised: 4 Jul 2021

See all articles by Martha J. Bailey

Martha J. Bailey

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

Andrew Goodman-Bacon

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

This paper uses the rollout of the first Community Health Centers (CHCs) to study the longer-term health effects of increasing access to primary care. Within ten years, CHCs are associated with a reduction in age-adjusted mortality rates of 2 percent among those 50 and older. The implied 7 to 13 percent decrease in one-year mortality risk among beneficiaries amounts to 20 to 40 percent of the 1966 poor/non-poor mortality gap for this age group. Large effects for those 65 and older suggest that increased access to primary care has longer-term benefits, even for populations with near universal health insurance.

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Martha Jane and Goodman-Bacon, Andrew, The War on Poverty&Apos;S Experiment in Public Medicine: Community Health Centers and the Mortality of Older Americans (October 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20653, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518743

Martha Jane Bailey (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

Andrew Goodman-Bacon

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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