When you think about a typical mother on Medicaid, what image comes to mind?
The first post comes from Bill Garner at The Incidental Economist, commenting on an NBER working paper, finding that an increase of $1000 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) income is associated with a 6.7 to 10.8 percent reduction in the low birth weight rate:
Low birth weight is likely a proxy for prematurity, which is much harder to measure. Premature infants are at risk for pulmonary, vision, and neurological problems. These problems can persist through childhood and adulthood. Premature infants can require expensive hospitalizations in neonatal intensive care units…The bottom line is that redistributing income to poor families improves the health of their infants. It is, in effect, a form of prenatal care.
The second post appeared as a comment by Mark Kellen on our cosmetic surgery health alert:
As an anesthesiologist, I have conducted anesthetics for hundreds of purely cosmetic procedures. With apologies to Dr. McCanne for my lack of hard research to document my observations, about 10% of our procedures (costing $6000-$10000) were women who were on Medicaid, but somehow could come up with a large cash payment.
The world is complex.